Your Guide to Social Media Use During Your Divorce 

January 8, 2024 Plat Simionati

Your Guide to Social Media Use During Your Divorce 

Disclaimer: This article aims to provide educational information surrounding social media and divorce. It is not intended to serve as legal advice. Consult with a lawyer and exercise your discretion before taking action based on the information provided in the blog. 

Social media usage has become part of our lives – from capturing special occasions to documenting our everyday lives. However, it can also play an interesting role in your divorce. 

In this article, we will talk about how social media can impact your credibility, how it can be used as evidence and how it can also play a part in your separation agreement.  

Your Social Media Posts Can Be Used as Evidence

Be mindful of anything you post – pictures, videos or other content – and how your social media might support your spouse’s case against you. Ontario courts have at times viewed posts on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram as credible evidence in divorce cases, including the following areas:

Social media and your date of separation 

In a previous article, we discussed how important your date of separation is when dividing your property. 

Social media posts, check-ins, or public interactions can provide evidence supporting or disputing the claimed date of separation. For instance, in one 2022 case, one spouse’s claim that the marriage was beyond repair was negated by several factors, including her social media posts following the supposed separation date.

You may claim to have separated on a specific date. However, your social media activity suggests otherwise. If so, it can impact the determination of the official separation date, affecting property division and financial arrangements.

The impact of social media on your support claims  

In divorce cases, one spouse may claim they are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay spousal support. However, social media may paint a conflicting picture. 

For example, despite claims of financial strain, online activity may display extravagant purchases and a lavish lifestyle, contradicting asserted hardships. Additionally, it may also reveal undisclosed income sources or professional ventures online. These discrepancies between claimed financial circumstances and social media portrayals can greatly influence court decisions regarding spousal and child support and the division of your assets.

Protecting Yourself Online During Your Divorce Process

Navigating social media during divorce demands a cautious and strategic approach. Choosing to avoid social media is your best bet to help you avoid any missteps. However, if you choose to spend time on social media, consider how your use of social media will impact your divorce.  

Think before you post. 

We like the “Front Page Rule” – don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper. That means seriously considering sharing personal details and opinions or confronting your ex-spouse, their family members or friends online. Consider how your posts could be misinterpreted or used against you. 

Additionally, you should review your privacy settings and change your passwords if your spouse can access your social media account. 

Of course, while it may be tempting, you would want to avoid disparaging your spouse on social media. Social media can lead to strained negotiations and negatively impact any children involved. It could also support a claim that you cannot co-parent effectively with your ex. 

Some individuals establish anonymous online identities to insult their ex-partner or contact their current romantic connections. This is not a wise course of action. Not only is it intrusive, but it can lead to legal repercussions involving accusations of harassment or defamation. 

Navigating Family Law and Your Divorce/Separation Proceedings with Plat Simionati LLP

Navigating your divorce proceedings means taking a meticulous approach, and at Plat Simionati LLP, we understand the intricacies involved in these sensitive matters. Our firm focuses solely on family law, and we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive legal support tailored to your circumstances. 

At Plat Simionati LLP, our priority is to assist you in making decisions that align with your family’s best interests. Our experienced family law lawyers provide clear, practical advice so you can fully appreciate the implications of every step taken throughout your divorce proceedings. To learn more about how to move through this chapter successfully, reach out to our team today. We would be more than happy to assist you.