Social media has become an integral part of our lives – over 233 million people were active on social media platforms in 2021. But how is being online affecting your marriage or divorce? Read Charlotte Christian Law’s blog to find out.
Social Media & Marriage
Between Facebook statuses and Instagram stories, couples are connected and divided by their use of social media. While they may appear to be closer in what they share with friends, there may be more troubles behind closed doors.
A 2014 study found that increases in Facebook enrollment were tied with a 4.32% increase in divorce. The researchers found that the more people who joined online communities, the more likely they were to become unhappy in their relationships.
Social media can increase jealousy, mistrust, and suspicion between partners. However, those feelings aren’t necessarily invalid. Sites like AshleyMadison provide more access to affairs, while Instagram and Twitter can provide avenues to seeking out ex-partners.
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How to Prevent Marital Problems
The best way to prevent the breakdown of your marriage is to have an honest conversation with your partner about social media usage and how it could affect your relationship. Being open and upfront will prevent any misunderstandings later down the road.
Here are ten questions to discuss with your partner.
- What are your thoughts on following or interacting with ex-partners online?
- Do you have any boundaries with posting on social media?
- What are the limitations of using social media when you’re together?
- Should you create “phone-free” times that will guarantee quality time?
- Is it okay to go through the others’ accounts?
- Are there secret accounts that you need to be made aware of?
- How will you handle conflict that arises from social media?
- What is the role that social media plays in your relationship?
- How much information should or should not be shared online?
- Are there any safety concerns with regards to posting on social media?
While you may think it is overkill to discuss these questions with your partner, it can create a safety net that you can fall back on should any problems ever arise. Make sure that you trust your partner and that your partner trusts you – especially when it comes to being online.
Social Media & Divorce
Since social media can damage marriages, some couples may find themselves seeking a divorce. But that doesn’t mean that social media stops affecting their relationship. Sometimes these platforms can ultimately hurt the divorce process as well, especially during discovery.
Posting online can be used as evidence for either side. Photos with new partners could show infidelity, statuses could prove time and place, and evidence of spending habits can be used to show proof of income.
Social media posts can be used as evidence because they are available to the public and self-authenticating. Attorneys can also request access to accounts during the discovery process since the courts have held that they can be treated as “business records.”
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Using Social Media During Divorce
Because social media can be used as potential evidence against you in court, it’s vital to be smart about what you do and don’t post online. When you carefully think through your posts, you could save yourself from headaches during the divorce process.
Here are ten tips for using social media during divorce.
- Limit your social media use.
- Consider temporarily deactivating your accounts.
- Avoid talking with or about your ex-spouse or their friends on social media.
- Change your passwords.
- Don’t ask your friends and family to find information about your ex.
- Resist the urge to post photos of yourself drinking, using drugs, or partying.
- Remember that nothing is truly private online.
- Avoid talking about significant life changes like a new job, partner, or living situation.
- Prevent your friends from tagging you in potentially incriminating photos.
- Think about starting new accounts or getting a new phone.
While it’s essential to be thoughtful about what you do or post online, we’re still human, and mistakes happen. If anything negative happens online, tell your attorney. Give them a heads up to know what to expect and plan accordingly.
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Speak to an Attorney
Social media, marriage, and divorce can often go hand in hand. It’s vital to be conscientious about what you do and remember that even if you delete something, what you post on the internet is on the internet forever.
If you are having marital problems or you’re getting a divorce, you need someone who is going to be on your side. Here at Charlotte Christian Law, we will support you every step – even after your divorce is finalized.
Connect with us online at charlottechristianlaw.com or by phone at (256) 859-7277. We’ll make your today better than your yesterday.