Some people share a lot on social media, a practice that may provide entertainment and connectedness, but prove disastrous in divorce or child custody proceedings.

In a complex divorce, attorneys are on the lookout for any information that advances their client’s interests, including telling posts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Some of the most damaging information involves:

  • Expenditures: Online photos of a new boat or a trip to the Swiss Alps may send an unintended message to a divorce court judge, especially if the person posting those pictures claims he or she cannot afford to pay child or spousal support.
  • Dating: Social medial posts can give away damaging information about the nature of relationships divorcing spouses have with people outside of the marriage. This is especially relevant in Pennsylvania, where adultery is grounds for divorce. Gray areas emerge while the divorce is pending, so it’s best not to post anything at all until the divorce is finalized.
  • Substance abuse: Pictures and accounts of drinking, drug use and partying are obvious red flags. Nonetheless, they find their way on social media all too often. In extreme cases, such posts may paint a picture of the poster as an unfit parent.

It’s best to think of social media posts as both public and permanent. Even if you share something to a limited group of people, you don’t know exactly who will see what you shared, whether they are “on your side” or not, and what they will choose to do with the information.

Of course, social media and divorce is a two-way street. While you must be very careful about what you share, your ex’s posts may provide the evidence you need to achieve your goals in divorce, child custody and other family law matters.

In general, always be careful about what you put online for the world to see, especially if you are going through a divorce. Also, talk to an experienced divorce attorney who knows how to use such evidence to protect your rights and interests.