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What effect does social media have on divorce?

Since the explosion of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, researchers are intensely interested in how these engaging tools affect the user in real life. One way that social media may directly affect the happiness of an individual is in his or her marriage. One study that specifically looked at Facebook interaction found that divorce rates rose anywhere from 2.18 percent to 4.32 percent in those who increased their annual Facebook interaction time by 20 percent. Does social media directly affect the divorce process, and if so, how?

Social media and divorce

The things you post on social media can have a direct bearing on your divorce if you aren't aware and careful. Online activity often gives clues to the other party about underhanded tricks you are trying or assets you are attempting to hide. If you are tagged in a photo with your friend driving your new BMW, this may be a clear sign you aren't disclosing all your assets to your spouse.

It's not just social media; even emails, texts and websites you've visited can be used as admissible evidence in court. These simple communications that most Americans use daily can give direct insight into things you may not want your spouse to know, such as an upcoming bonus or job offer.

Anything put on the Internet can be remembered forever, even if you quickly delete it. When you are going through a divorce, it's important that you are cautious and careful about what you post on social media, as your accounts may be used to find information you would like kept private.

Social media tips during divorce

If you are in the middle of a divorce and wonder how to appropriately use your social media accounts, follow these rules:

  • Always be polite and never use your accounts to discuss personal grievances.
  • Use discretion in everything you post and avoid posting pictures or check-ins of your daily activities.
  • Change your privacy settings so your spouse can't see your posts through mutual friends.
  • Disable the function that allows your friends to check you in at certain places.
  • Never discuss your relationship status on social media until your divorce is final, and never answer questions about your current relationships online.
  • If you are in any type of doubt about the best way to handle your social media accounts during divorce, simply delete or disable them until the process is complete.

If you are considering a divorce and want to make sure your best interests are represented, you may benefit from consulting with a professional attorney who can answer any questions you have about how social media during your divorce.

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