Whether you are just beginning to toy with the idea of serving your spouse divorce papers or you are already deep in the throes of the litigation process, take my advice and shut down every single one of your social media accounts immediately!
Yes, you ready that correctly. Get online right now and deactivate your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, or whatever other online platforms you so choose to share the details of your private life on because let me tell you, they will cause nothing but trouble during your litigation proceedings. I would even go so far as to remove all texting and email capabilities from you cell phone that do not relate to business. And yes, I'm serious about that one too.
I bet I know what you are thinking after reading that and I'm sure it goes a little something like this: "That seems like a dramatic and unnecessary display of "unplugging" that doesn't apply to my own particular situation. I think I will just ignore her and continue to dig my own grave by leaving an electronic paper trail all over the web documenting my every screw up during my contested case."
I'm pretty close, right? Don't be ashamed to admit it. Everyone ignores my advice when it comes to this particular situation. But I am telling you right now, loud and clear, that it is to your benefit to heed my warning about not mixing social media and divorce by deleting your accounts right now. Here is why...
In today's technology-obsessed society where nobody can put down his or her phone for more than five minutes, there are just too many outlets on which to make a virtual boo-boo that will cost you big time.
Take a look at this list of a few potential scenarios to get an idea of how just the click of a button may result in a huge mess in the courtroom:
• You are in the midst of a custody battle with your ex and someone tags you in a picture that shows you drinking and partying on a night when you said you could not exercise visitation with your children.
• You filed to modify and lower your support payments to your spouse and your lover posts pictures on Instagram and Facebook of the two of you on vacation in Bali.
• One of your social media friends posts photos of you drinking, inhaling from a bong and partying during a time when you are trying to gain custody of your children.
...So, do you catch my drift? If not, let me drill it into your thick skull in another way for you.
Let's review some celebrities and notable figures of authority that have been caught with their pants around their ankles (virtually, not literally, thank God) via photos that were posted on the internet, salacious e-mails, naughty texts, and sexy voicemails:
• Tiger Woods -- aka the poster-boy for the much-needed "Don't Text and Cheat" campaign.
• David Letterman -- if he hadn't been blackmailed into confessing his extramarital affairs with several of his female staffers, he might have gotten away with it. But probably not.
• Brett Favre -- the list of women who condemned Favre for sending lewd text messages, photos of his "wanger" and inappropriate voicemails while he was married is enough to make anyone cower.
• Eliot Spitzer -- I have just two words for you: "Carlos Danger."
• David Petraeus -- you would think the former Director of the CIA would know better than to conduct an extramarital affair over traceable e-mail accounts, wouldn't you?
How many times is a person in the public eye, be it Hollywood celebrity or a government official, going to have to get caught with a sexually explicit electronic paper trail before people finally catch on that leaving virtual evidence of your affair is just plain moronic?
Victim mentality and the blame game will only go so far during your divorce (and in life). You are responsible for your own actions and inaction. Simplify your life. Save the heart-racing new online romance for after the divorce has been finalized. Remove the temptation entirely so as not to shoot yourself in the foot. It is way too enticing nowadays to Tweet something, tag something, or text something that could end up getting you annihilated.