Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

The pitfalls of a Facebook divorce

At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates in California, we know that staying in more or less constant contact with your family and friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. may well be your new normal. If, however, you and your spouse are headed for divorce or have already filed, your best strategy is to stay off these social media outlets until your divorce is final. If you cannot bring yourself to do that, your second best strategy is to think very carefully about what personal information you divulge on them.

FindLaw explains that a Facebook divorce refers to one in which one spouse wins or loses based in large part on the personal information (s)he foolishly posts online. Divorce attorneys love Facebook. Why? Because they know they can go there to find negative information about their client's spouse that they can use in court against them. Even eight years ago, 67 percent of American divorce attorneys said Facebook was their primary source of such negative information.

Insecure posts

Regardless of your Facebook privacy settings, the information you post there is not safe from prying eyes. Consequently, you should never post any of the following:

  • Photos of an explicit or suggestive sexual nature
  • Photos or information regarding where you go or with whom
  • Photos or information regarding any new romances
  • Photos or information regarding expensive purchases you make
  • Photos or information regarding any new home you are considering moving into

Be aware that unfortunately, you do not actually own the photos and information you post online. Facebook and virtually all other social media outlets can divulge and/or compromise your information without facing legal consequences, even when they do so without your knowledge. In addition, the things you post can be "picked up" by your family, friends and followers who then may send them on to hundreds of other people.

For more information, please visit this page of our website.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012