Tips for smart social media use during a Minnesota divorce

It may be tempting to reach out for support from Facebook friends and Instagram followers during a divorce, but it could backfire.

From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to LinkedIn, social media is a large part of our daily lives. We use it to share every day, personal information and as a tool for professional growth. The connections we make online can include friends, family members and colleagues and can serve as a valuable networking tool. Although there are many benefits to the use of social media, those who are going through a divorce should tread carefully.

Can posts show up in court?

In many cases posts and other information that appear on these sites may be used in court. The potential for problems during a divorce connected to social media use are so prevalent that Forbes recently published an article addressing the issue. The main point of the piece: not everyone who is following an account is a friend or an ally.

There are many circumstances where the information posted online can appear during divorce negotiations. This could include information about financial status gathered through updates on vacations or possibly an updated LinkedIn profile noting a recent promotion at work. As a result, it is wise to only post information that you would be comfortable sharing in court.

It is important to note that Minnesota is a no-fault state. Although information from postings may be used during the asset division determination or child custody determination portions of the divorce proceeding, they cannot be used to determine fault.

Do I need a social media clause?

A fairly new concept is the use of a social media clause in a divorce decree. It may be possible for social media sites to be considered marital property. A recent article in the Huffington Post addressed this concern and advised that those involved in these cases consider including a clause within the divorce decree that gives the creator of the account ownership of the account and its content.

Do I need legal counsel?

Divorce is governed by state law and state law frequently changes. Issues involving social media were not present five years ago and are currently being decided in courts throughout the country. The question of using Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates and Instagram photos discussed above is pretty well established, but the need for a social media clause is a fairly novel concept.

These are just a few of the many issues that can arise during a divorce. As a result, those who are going through a divorce are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer.

Keywords: family law divorce