How Social Media Affects Your Divorce -- Property, Proof, And Finding Out Who Your Facebook Friends Are

Posted on: 31 October 2016

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, you need to start protecting your social media accounts and staking your claim to any shared websites. This is not just a matter of ensuring you still have access to the accounts; your accounts can actually be considered property that should be divided by the court. You can also suffer social effects after the account division if you have to set up new accounts for yourself.

Social Media Accounts as Property

If you share any social media accounts with your spouse, or if you run websites together, those sites and accounts could be treated as property by the court. Many divorce agreements now contain clauses that dictate how social media and internet property should be divided between spouses. What's more is that, sometimes, your own personal account could be considered property in the divorce if it contains information about your marriage and shared life. This can be distressing and confusing, and you need to speak to a divorce attorney who knows how to handle social media account division before doing anything else.

Posts Used as Proof of Claims

It's now fairly common for social media posts to affect court cases; what you or your ex-spouse have posted can show how one or both of you treated the other, for example. If both of you have access to the account, and you think that there are posts that will help your case, get screenshots of them immediately so that you won't lose them if your ex-spouse tries to delete them. Also, refrain from posting anything about the divorce or your ex-spouse because those posts could be used against you.

Preparing for Friends to Say Farewell

No matter how the accounts are divided, or even if they are closed, be prepared to lose some friends or followers. Chances are that there were at least a few people who were on the account because of some vague professional or social association who won't bother to friend or follow your new account; there will also be people who turn out to be more friendly with your ex-spouse, and they'll friend your ex-spouse's new account but not yours. You have to do your best not to take any of this personally. Join groups, try to interact more with people on other services, and do what you can to build up your own social media friendships.

Do not try to negotiate account division by yourself; have a skilled divorce attorney on your side to handle this part of the divorce agreement. The inclusion of social media in a divorce is only going to become more and more necessary, and you should not ignore the subject in hopes that it won't become a big deal.