Avoid Social Media Accounts In High Conflict Divorce Litigation
Molly and Alex finally separated two months ago after years of turmoil. They were an “on-again, off-again” couple that everyone knew had problems, but they seemed to thrive off the drama. In the last few months, Molly is constantly updating her social media accounts with threatening posts about Alex that gravitate between anger and regret. She has created fake profile accounts in an attempt to keep tabs with him, threatened his family and stalked his new apartment. Alex is concerned that Molly will escalate and act on threats she has posted on social media. He has reported her account but doesn’t know if that is sufficient. Should he file a restraining order against her?
Social Media & Threats of Violence.
Social media is everywhere and information we post is public. Even if we delete a post, it could have already been copied or shared. Posting threatening language, using derogatory words, inciting violence, or making threats of violence against someone violates social media policy and may also be criminal behavior. Even if someone makes a menacing post and claims to be joking, you cannot take back what has already been said.
It is best to remain off social media as much as possible during a separation or divorce, especially when there are children involved. People sometimes use a social media profile to provide status updates about their every thought and feeling, but this information is private and should stay that way. Dealing with turmoil should be pursued through individual therapy or counseling resources, because what you post on social media might be used against you in court. Using social media to make threats, harass, stalk or intimate an ex-spouse may affect the status of your case, especially if you and your spouse have not reached an agreement regarding child custody.
Seeking Legal Help for Cyberstalking
If you just filed for divorce and are concerned about an ex’s social media posts, discuss it with a licensed family law attorney. Making threats of violence in person or via email, text or social media is taken seriously. If you have felt intimidated or threatened by your ex, either on social media or in person, you do not have to tolerate it. It is illegal in Florida to stalk someone “by means of an electronic device” including on the internet, via email, text message, or social media. Our Tampa family law attorneys at Bubley & Bubley can help you file an emergency domestic violence restraining order if your ex has made a credible threat toward you or your shared children. Cyberstalking injunctions are also available to victims of domestic violence. Stalking and harassment are criminal offenses, so you may consider filing a police report as well. Divorce can get ugly, but parties need to recognize that their actions have consequences, especially when children are involved.
Contact our Tampa Bay Family Law Attorneys at Bubley & Bubley
Divorce is often the most difficult season of a person’s life, and it can bring out the worst in people. Some exes might say or do things out of spite, anger, fear, or shame, but it is illegal to stalk, harass or abuse someone. Placing an ex and shared children in fear of abuse, physical or emotional harm is grounds for a protective order and can impact a divorce and custody case severely. And social media is not an outlet to verbally abuse someone. If you or someone you know needs emergency assistance filing a domestic violence restraining order, our Tampa divorce attorneys at Bubley & Bubley are standing by to help. We have years of experience helping clients through the most difficult period of their life and we understand what is at stake. Call today to schedule a consultation.