Considering the ever-increasing role that social media plays in our lives, it may come as no surprise that social media postings on places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can affect the divorce process and the agreements which are ultimately reached, especially when it comes to child custody and alimony.
If you are going through a divorce in Bergen County or New Jersey, here is what you need to know when it comes to understanding how to navigate your divorce while taking into consideration social media, and the various ways in which postings made by either you or your spouse to social media can affect your final divorce settlement agreement.
Ridgewood Divorce Attorneys Discuss the Impacts of Social Media on Child Custody and Alimony
While your divorce’s division of asset and child support agreements will be based on specific financial and familial information, child custody agreements and alimony agreements tend to be much more fluid.
For example, child custody is decided on a “best interest basis”, specifically, what is in the best interests of your children. If one parent or the other has pictures or posts on social media which paint them in an irresponsible or negative light (such as “letting loose” at a holiday work party, or enjoying a night on the town with their friends), such pictures may influence a court into believing that that same parent may not be necessarily be the kind of parent their children really needs.
Or, it may be the case that social media posting made by one party or the other provide evidence of some wrong-doing (such as adultery), or even illegal activity. These kinds of posts can potentially affect not only their child custody agreement, but potentially even their alimony agreement as well as a punitive measure, or as a way of reimbursing the other spouse for wrongdoings.
Finally, “badmouthing” your spouse on social media, as good as it may make you feel in the moment, has a high risk of backfiring on you, causing a court to believe that you are trying to alienate your children from having the best possible relationship they can with your co-parent. Legally referred to as “parental alienation“, whether done intentionally with this sort of outcome in mind or accidentally can severely impact your child custody agreement as courts frown heavily upon any parent who is attempting to poison their children’s relationship with their other parent.
Navigating the Impacts of Social Media During a Divorce in Bergen County
Considering these very serious consequences that social media posting can have on the divorce process, here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to navigating the often complex divorce process while keeping in mind how social media can affect your divorce:
- “Keep Your Life as Private as Possible” – Even the most seemingly innocuous social media post can come back to bite you, so best practice is to keep as much of your life, and your divorce, as private as possible (that is to say, you can discuss the matter with friends and family, but limit your social media posts as much as possible).
- “Leave Your Spouse Alone” – As tempting as it may be to vent some of your feelings regarding your spouse on social media, or even block them from viewing your own accounts, such actions will almost always serve to only antagonize them, and may even provide them with proof of parental alienation (as discussed above). An antagonized spouse may seek to make your divorce process more embattled and costly than it ever needs to be, and accusations of parental alienation can cost you severly when it comes to securing the kind of child custody and parenting time you deserve.
- “Speak with Your Divorce Attorney” – If you have any reason to believe that your spouses social media posts may be relevant to your divorce proceedings, or have any cause for concern over things you yourself have posted, raise the issue with your Bergen County divorce attorney. As with all aspects of your divorce, the more your divorce attorney knows, the better they can serve you in the manner that you need and deserve.
Contact Our Hackensack Divorce Lawyers Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience resolving complex divorce matters of all kinds for clients in towns across Northern New Jersey and Bergen County, including Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, Fort Lee, and more.
By practicing exclusively family and matrimonial law, our firm has the focused and in-depth knowledge and experience that you need and deserve when it comes to resolving your divorce and its related agreements in a manner which accurately reflects the unique needs, concerns, and situation of both you and your family as a whole.
To speak with one of our attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your options for resolving your divorce in the most fair and effective manner possible, and how exactly we can help you to do so, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.