In 2020, 3.96 billion people in the world are social media users, with 79% of Americans engaging in or having profiles. For most people, social media is a huge part of their daily life, and some people use it as an outlet to talk about their lives, emotions, and so on. This can become an extremely detrimental habit if a person is going through a New Mexico divorce or a custody battle because anything said or posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc..,  becomes free game evidence for a judge in court and can ultimately be a  factor when deciding a verdict. This can be a beneficial thing for you if you are going through a divorce or a child custody battle and your ex-spouse doesn’t withhold much information on their personal social media. It can also be a potential pitfall for you if you use social media in a way that New Mexico courts would find inappropriate.

 

 

Tips for monitoring your social media before, and during a divorce:

 

It is best to start filtering through your social media profiles thoroughly before you file a divorce. Here are nine tips that can help you prevent having your social media presence come up in court

  1. Change your passwords for everything- There is a chance you could be logged into your account on a device you aren’t aware of or even own. Maybe your ex-spouse or child knows your password. 

  2. Make a new email or phone account if you have joint accounts with your ex-spouse.

  3. Don’t take selfies in court- Taking photos inside the courtroom is actually a criminal offense, that’s why security usually takes away your phone at the entrance. 

  4. Refrain from talking negatively about your former spouse- This can be detrimental for a child custody case because the court wants what is best for the child. Bad-mouthing the other parent can cause a bad relationship with the child. 

  5. Un-tag yourself from any inappropriate posts or photos- If possible, ask the poster to take down the photo altogether. Explain the circumstances of your divorce and include it could be incriminating or bad for your case. If they are unwilling to take it down, you can at least un-tag yourself from it, so it doesn’t show up on your profile. 

  6. Anything you send in a private message can be used against you- Its best to refrain from sending anything you wouldn’t want the court to see. Although it is called a “Private message”, nothing is really private on social media. 

  7. Refrain from making your friends spy on your ex’s page- If you are blocked from seeing your ex’s page, leave it be. Maybe also delete anyone from your friends’ list that could possibly be a spy for your ex. 

  8. Talk to an attorney- ask them what steps can you take to make sure your social media information is secure and cant be used for evidence. 

  9. Avoid lying- It is easy to catch someone in a lie on social media, and if you are proven wrong that can completely destroy your case. 

 

Social media before divorcing in New Mexico

Sometimes it is hard to foresee a divorce creeping towards your relationship. If in fact, you do have a feeling you or your spouse wants to divorce, now is the time to start cleaning up your social media and post with caution. If you feel the need to vent about your relationship problems, perhaps confide in a trusted friend, relative, or even a counselor/ social worker. Bringing your problems to Facebook, and other social media can drastically affect your relationship with your spouse. In fact, Boston University recently did a research study on how Facebook usage affects divorce rates. The study found that when there was a 20 percent increase in Facebook users in a specific state, there was a link to a 2.18 increased growth in the divorce rate.

 

Child-related social media privacy

It might be a good idea to include something in the custody agreement of your concerns about posting about your child. Sometimes parents tend to want to keep their child away from social media, with some religions and cultural beliefs, this might be the case. If they would like you to refrain from posting pictures or information about your child, talk to the other parent about your discrepancies and hopefully, they will understand.

 

If you feel like you need help with social media concerns during your divorce or custody case in New Mexico, our attorneys at Genus Law Group have extensive experience with the ins and outs of what the courts might look at for evidence. You can call us at 505.317.4455.


 
Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Child Support Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond