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Navigating social media during a divorce

What you post online can be used against you in a divorce. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – Getting divorced is difficult enough.

Sharing too much information on social media during a divorce can complicate matters, and even be used against you in the courtroom.

You should assume that every tweet or status update could become ammunition in a divorce, says family law attorney Keenan Goldsby, of the ShounBach firm.

“People have the inclination to do things rather impulsively, without giving a whole lot of sober reflection,” says Goldsby.

From a legal standpoint, entering a divorce proceeding, some attorneys recommend a social media blackout.

“While that’s always very conservative advice, and good advice for an attorney to give, it’s not realistic,” says Goldsby.

Goldsby recommends monitoring your privacy settings, because even if you unfriend your spouse, mutual acquaintances “could still provde your spouse with access, or tell your spouse about what’s being posted on your social site.”

Avoid publicly reacting to events which may happen in your divorce case, says Goldsby, including commenting on courtroom rulings.

“You have to expect that may get back to the judge,” says Goldsby.

Attorney-client communications shouldn’t find their way online, says Goldsby.

A status update containing the phrase “my attorney said” could potentially be waiving client-attorney privilege.

While posting a photo showing you giving a champagne toast at a wedding might seem innocuous, a spouse’s attorney might use it to suggest you have a drinking problem.

Goldsby says while social media postings may or may not be admissible in court, a skilled litigator will turn your own words against you.

“Even if not as actual evidence or an exhibit in court, it can be used very effectively on cross-examination,” says Goldsby.

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