The things you say on Facebook can come back to haunt you, especially if they're comments about your ex during a divorce.
Facebook is such a part of everyday life for many people it's easy to forget that it's a public forum, not just a personal diary. Airing your dirty laundry in public is definitely on the list what not to do in a divorce.
Freedom of speech still applies on the Internet but that doesn't mean you can say anything. Whether or not you get sued, there are still ways nasty Facebook comments can affect your divorce.
First of all, you can be sued for comments you make on Facebook if the statements you make are flat-out lies.
False statements that cause some kind of financial or reputational harm to the person they're about are considered libel and the victim can sue you. If they can prove that you knew you were lying and the lies were harmful, they could demand damages.
But even if the statements don't rise to the level of libel they can still be used against you in court.
Nasty comments about an ex can have a negative impact on your divorce proceedings if they are presented to the judge, reports Reuters. Judges can consider the hurtful comments when awarding custody or alimony amounts and that can hurt your case.
Unless you keep the comments off the internet you can never be sure that they're private. Just because you hide them from your ex doesn't mean they won't find it.
The damage those negative comments can do varies on a case-by-case basis so it's hard to say what's a problem and what's not. If you have a specific question about negative Facebook posts, ask our attorneys and we'll make sure you get an answer quickly.
Non-negative comments on Facebook can also hurt your divorce (and other aspects of your life).
Claiming you have no money in court while posting about your upcoming vacation won't serve you well. Neither will asking for more custody time while writing about the partying you're doing all weekend.
Always keep in mind that anyone could see your Facebook comments and pass them along to someone else. Personal conversations are private. Facebook conversations are not.
It can feel good to get negative feelings off your chest in a divorce but don't take too many chances. Keep it off the Internet and that venting won't have to cost you in court.
- Nevada Lawyer Sues Over Mean Facebook Comments (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Facebook Divorce Comments Lead to Court Ordered Apology (The Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Teacher Fired Over Facebook Comments (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)