How social media use can impact a Wisconsin divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Divorce

Preparing for divorce in Wisconsin means managing property division matters and may also involve negotiating or litigating arrangements for sharing custody of any minor children in a couple’s household.

Many habits that people have long held throughout their marriages may have to change as they begin preparing for divorce as well. How someone uses social media is a perfect example. Most people tend to freely share about their personal lives on social media without any censorship, but doing so could result in real challenges for someone preparing for a divorce.

How might someone’s social media use influence the outcome of Wisconsin divorce proceedings?

It can exacerbate conflict between spouses

It is certainly fast and efficient to share one’s perspective on the divorce or one’s grievances about the marriage on social media where dozens of people can read what someone has to say. However, that reach is part of what makes social media so dangerous. One spouse may feel like the other has engaged in intentional defamation. They may become angry about what the other spouse posts on social media, which may increase the conflict between the spouses as they start preparing for divorce.

Social media use can become evidence

Everything that someone does on social media, from the posts they share publicly to the private messages they sent to friends could end up becoming part of the evidence presented in divorce proceedings. Social media use can show that one spouse stalked or threatened the other. It could help prove an extramarital affair or show that someone has engaged in drug and alcohol misuse, which could influence how the courts rule on custody matters.

Individuals and attorneys sometimes use publicly available information from social media as part of court proceedings. Other times, the discovery process might include social media accounts, which might make even private and deleted content available to the other party.

Many people simply stop using social media during their divorce, as no amount of privacy settings can truly protect what someone shares online. Understanding how social media may impact a Wisconsin divorce can help those thinking about filing to better protect themselves by employing more informed and thoughtful personal practices online.