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Why social media can be a minefield during a divorce

A vast amount of most people's communication and social activity is now reflected online -- on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and through e-mails and texts. If you're going through a divorce, however, that activity can lead to problems. So can purchases made online or activity on dating sites. This can all be tracked, and it can be used against you.

That's why many Colorado family law attorneys caution their clients against using social media during this time and advise them to be very cautious about digital communications and other online activity. One exception is the use of career-related networking sites such as LinkedIn. As long as your activity on these is consistent with the information you provide during your divorce, there likely won't be a problem.

Besides being careful about your own social media posts, it's also essential to avoid ending up on anyone else's Facebook or Instagram account doing anything that your estranged spouse could use against you or with a mention of anything that could cause problems. If your new girlfriend boasts about the sports car you just bought her or posts pictures of your vacation to Turks and Caicos while you're battling to keep child and spousal support payments low, expect problems.

Explain to your friends and even your kids why it's important that they don't mention you. Perhaps say that you're going "off the grid" until the divorce is final.

Going back and deleting previous posts and texts is another issue. You could get into trouble if you delete things that could be relevant to your case. That's why it's best to exercise caution as soon as you begin contemplating divorce. This may be a good time to go ahead and change your passwords and possibly set up a new email account. Why make it easier for your spouse to go in and do anything on your accounts or under your name that could make you look bad?

If you have any questions or concerns about the impact of your digital footprint on your divorce or about how to protect your privacy, your Colorado family law attorney should be able to help. It's essential that you be completely honest with your attorney on this and all matters so that he or she can provide the best possible guidance.

Source: Fox Business, "Can Social Media Hurt You in a Divorce?," Andrea Murad, Aug. 27, 2015

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