Skip to main content

Social Media – A Divorce Lawyer’s Best (or Worst) Friend

By Alisse C. Camazine

A host of social networking sites and apps including Facebook, Instagram,  WhatsApp, Snapchat, TikTok, Threads, and X (formerly Twitter), among others, have provided creative outlets for sharing information about yourself, friends, and family. Each of these apps offers us the ability to post pictures, share news, post links, display videos, and generally connect with our friends and relatives. Add to these the many dating apps, including, Hinge, and Tinder, each of which allows you to publicly display information that could interest a potential partner.

With each of these apps and sites, a person posting information opens themselves up for risk should this information be used by the opposing side in a divorce or post-divorce custody or modification case. Even more concerning, your children’s attorney (known as a “guardian ad litem” or “GAL”) may use these posts to see if you are a fit parent.

Many such apps allow postings that invite responses to information and opinions and even allow you to invite others to events you are involved in. While there is nothing inherently wrong with using these apps, you need to remember that when you are involved in any kind of court case, but particularly in cases involving divorce or child custody, everything you post is potential evidence.

Extreme caution should be your guide in what you decide to post for the public (or even your friends) to see. Posting items about your behavior and actions should be tempered. Posts such as: “Looking forward to getting wasted this weekend!” or “What a wild party that was!: or “Remember our trip to Vegas where I blew all that money and never told my wife?” most certainly will be used against you in your case if they are discovered.

You should always assume someone you don’t want to read them will read them.

Posting photographs can also open a can of worms. Pictures showing you out drinking (doing shots, standing on top of a bar), using illegal drugs, or in compromising positions (nude, semi-nude) are almost always a bad idea, but are a no-no in divorce and child custody cases. A parent displaying pictures of themself using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol when they have sworn they are committed to sobriety face a huge risk that a court or GAL will use that information against them in a custody proceeding.

When in doubt, don’t post. What might seem innocent can and will be portrayed in a high conflict and messy divorce as something worse by your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s attorney. Caution in how you project your image is your best strategy. Even if you block your spouse from viewing your page or site, you should assume they can view your information through some other method, perhaps via a mutual friend or family member or court order.

Best practice? Play it safe and never post anything online in any form that you would not want published on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Post Dispatch.

Please contact a Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal family law attorney for all of your divorce-related questions.


I need a consultation