Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat often feel like an ever-present audience in today’s age of constant connectedness. However, there is such a thing as over-sharing, and if you’re posting about your ex, it can seriously backfire on your court proceedings.

Contrary to what many people think, your social media behavior is not limited to your immediate friends and family, no matter how strong your privacy settings are. The truth is that anything that goes on the internet can potentially be seen by anyone and possibly used against you in the family courts.

Your social media posts can impact your divorce

So how can you ensure your social media posts and pictures don’t come back to hurt you? The only way to completely eliminate this possibility is to close all of your social media accounts and keep to traditional forms of communication, like phone calls and emails. If that doesn’t seem like a possibility, you’ll need to be very careful about what you post.

For example, it’s never a good idea to post about how horrible your ex is. The courts take a poor view on such behavior, and screenshots mean anything you say could very well end up going straight to your ex – and his lawyer.

Your online behavior can hurt your children

It’s also important to think about the impact seeing these things may have on your children. Even things that have been deleted off of social media accounts can be recovered by forensic technicians and made part of the divorce record, which your children may someday see. When in doubt, keep it off of a public or semi-private platform and call a friend to vent instead.

If you wouldn’t show it to a judge, don’t post it online

Even if you don’t ever post about your ex, you also need to be careful what you post about yourself. Pictures in particular can be especially damaging if they seem to indicate excessive drinking, a partying lifestyle or that you hang around people involved in illegal or irresponsible behaviors. Make sure your settings also don’t allow your friends to tag you in potentially inappropriate or incriminating statuses or photos. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Would I mind showing a judge this?” before posting. If the answer is yes, keep it off social media.