Facebook, MySpace, Twitter—they’re not just for our kids anymore. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re using some kind of Internet-based social networking site. We all know about the great opportunities these sites provide for connecting with old and new friends. But, if you’re going through a divorce, you might want to think twice before spilling your guts on your Facebook page.
A guardian ad litem (attorney representing the children’s interests) we know routinely searches the Internet for Facebook or MySpace pages being used by the parents of the children she is representing in divorce cases. After meeting with a mother, she was dismayed to discover the woman’s MySpace page, which was festooned with photos of marijuana leaves and which proudly announced how she couldn’t wait to resume her pot smoking as soon as her court case was over. Needless to say, the guardian ad litem was less than impressed with this mother’s honesty, credibility, and judgment.
If you are going through a divorce and you have a social networking page, it pays to take some commonsense steps to protect your own interests. First, be careful about what you post. If it’s out there, someone will read it, and they may tell someone else. A good rule is to assume that everything you post will end up as evidence against you in court.
Second, be aware that other people will post items on your wall. If you don’t block your wall postings then all of those whom you have “friended” will be able to post whatever they want and that could include very inappropriate messages and photos which your other friends will then be able to see. If your ex or soon to be ex has “friend” privileges, that ex or soon to be ex could also post damaging material. People are very careless in what they post to walls–even more careless than they are with e-mail.
We all need to vent anger and frustration and maybe even express joy about our impending freedom while the divorce drags on. Be smart about how you do that and make sure it doesn’t come back to bite you.