Missouri law allows the use of social media as evidence in divorce proceedings. Deleting it negatively impacts your divorce.
Social media has changed how we interact with each other and also how we perceive the world. Research shows that 7 in 10 Americans actively use social media to engage with each other, check out news, and share information and experiences.
While social media platforms are a great avenue to express your thoughts and opinions, your activities on these platforms could put you at a disadvantage. For instance, divorce attorneys can use the information you post on social media against you in court. But deleting everything on your social media is a wrong move that could affect your divorce.
Social Media as Evidence in Divorce
Missouri law allows the use of social media as evidence in divorce proceedings. Either spouse may show social media posts of their partner as evidence of reckless spending, alcoholism, drug use, hateful behavior, and other unbecoming behavior. In short, your social media posts may form the judge’s perception of you and influence the direction of your divorce.
Should I Delete My Social Media Posts?
Deleting your social media posts during a divorce is a tricky affair. On one hand, you could have posts that could boost your spouse’s evidence against you; conversely, deleting your social media may be misconstrued as suspicious. We advise against deleting your social media during a divorce for two main reasons:
- Spoliation – The divorce attorney might post your deletion of social media as spoliation, the act of destroying evidence. As mentioned, Missouri courts consider social media posts, photos, and evidence during divorce and child custody proceedings. Doing so will support the other side’s argument that you are hiding evidence and have malicious intent. This alone could jeopardize your divorce.
- Evidence Twisting – Your spouse’s attorney may use the posts and photos you deleted as evidence, lending a more sinister perspective to them. For instance, they may use an old image where you don’t look your best with frizzled hair to claim you were intoxicated.
Remember, forensics can recover deleted items and put them in the hands of your spouse’s attorney. They may present this as new evidence but with a more malicious backstory. Adding that to the fact that you deleted the evidence in question doesn’t help your case.
Use Social Media Wisely for a More Favorable Divorce Outcome
Social media is both friend and foe during divorce; use it wisely for a more favorable divorce outcome. Here are a few tips for handling your social media during divorce proceedings:
- Always post positive content that shows a more pleasant side of you
- Avoid posting parties with drugs and alcohol
- Don’t post anything hateful or disparaging about your spouse
- Don’t lie on social media or the lies might be used against you
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