But also, Meyers said, it’s important to have these conversations before social media can become a weapon to hurt each other, especially in the age of revenge porn websites.
“In this day and age, it’s really important, almost mandatory, to not assume and to lay it out,” Meyers said. “It’s one thing when you’re all lovely dovely. It’s another thing when you’re breaking up. ... it’s so easy, especially in anger, in ‘ex anger,’ to post things to get even.”
More than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Randy Kessler, an Atlanta-based divorce attorney and the former chair of the family law section of the American Bar Association, said social media is “the most frequent new issue” that comes up in divorce proceedings.
“If there is such thing as a general run-of-the-mill divorce case, it's in every case,” he said. “It is scary when you see the stuff we see.”
When a client is going through a divorce, Kessler said, he tells them to “take a cyber vacation.” Credibility, Kessler said, is a big issue in divorce because you want to prove to the judge you are trustworthy.
More often, judges are having to rule on whether or not social media is a factor in divorce cases and how significant its impact can be, Kessler said. Whether or not a negative tweet about an ex-spouse is grounds for forfeiting the other spouse’s right to alimony, or whether that spouse lied or cheated if he said he was going to Denver when his FourSquare account showed he checked into a place in Las Vegas, are examples of things that could come up.
“Nothing good comes of talking about your personal life when you’re going through a divorce,” he said. “Only bad things can happen by posting. You can get caught in lies. You forget to turn your location notification off. ... Someone else takes a picture of you, tags you.”
Social media clauses in prenups can help, Kessler said, because it “motivates behavior” in a certain way after a marriage has ended.
“I don’t think they hurt, but what’s interesting is they are untested,” he said. “[But] it makes you not want to take the risk.”