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When spouses decide to move on from their marriage, each spouse must wrestle with decisions about the future, affected relationships, and the divorce process itself. Navigating a divorce can be such a taxing process that it can become easy to overlook how relatively routine choices can affect all the other decisions you are trying to make.

When you are trying to decide where to live, how to construct a child custody agreement, and which attorney will represent you, your online etiquette may not seem like a pressing issue. For better and for worse, however, your behavior online during your divorce may affect your future in more substantial ways than you may imagine.

If a judge, your spouse’s attorney, or another interested party finds any of your online activity to be suspect, that activity could affect your divorce settlement, your child custody dispute, and your child custody award. As a result, attorneys often advise their clients to temporarily close all social media accounts and to be extra careful when sending emails for the duration of any family law proceedings they are involved in.

If you choose not to temporarily shut down your accounts, it is critical that you treat every word you type and picture you post as something that may be viewed by everyone involved in your dispute. Simply because you enable certain privacy settings does not mean that your information will remain private.

Please take special care not to rant about your spouse online, talk about the process online or post any compromising pictures of yourself or your kids. In addition, do not discuss any large purchases, vacations, or property if it may affect the judge’s perception of what could be considered fair in a divorce or child support order.

Source: Huffington Post, “Facebook in a Time of Divorce,” Penney Berryman