Among all the prep work that goes into a divorce trial, getting as many details about the other party is an important step for attorneys. And an easy place to do this is through public social media posts and private direct messages.

In fact, over 80% of attorneys across the country uncover evidence through social media posts. Social media may help you stay connected with friends and family or give you a break from the real world, but it could be useful to lay low on social sites until your divorce is final. This is because even though social media posts aren’t a full scope of you and your character, they can still affect financial and custody-related aspects of your settlement.

Custody and alimony

Many people use Facebook or Instagram as an extension of their real lives and usually there isn’t any harm in that. This often includes snapping pictures of recent purchases and indulgences, like snaps of you driving a new car off the lot or treating yourself to a meal at a top tier restaurant. Although, you will have to list your assets before your court date, flaunting expensive purchases on social media might warrant a deeper dive into your financial situation. In turn, this could affect how much custody or spousal support you hope to receive.

Similarly, photos or text posts about reckless, abusive or unlawful acts could ruin your chances of being in your child’s life as much as you expect to after divorce. Maybe you are exaggerating or joking in these posts, but even a little truth for them could negatively impact how much parenting time you receive.

Privacy settings

It’s up to you if you want to have a public or private account. But there are many ways the posts you share with your private network can still end up in front of eyes and ears of people you thought would never see your post. People talk in real life. So, if you have any mutual friends with your soon-to-be ex, then they might feel like they have to choose a side and shed light on anything you post to defend your ex.

Deleting a bunch of posts could look suspicious, especially if you’ve already opened up the divorce process. Instead you could choose to set accounts to a private mode if they aren’t already, be extra careful about what you post moving forward and delete or block anyone you think might turn against you.

Speaking with an attorney about how you should or shouldn’t use social media during the divorce process could help you and your children in the long run.