What the Jeff Bezos case reveals about social media and divorce

By Peter Jones, founder

The unprecedented case of Jeff Bezos successfully managing social media to announce his divorce is not an option we’d recommend couples undergoing divorce or separation to rush into.         

While the Amazon founder did not emerge entirely unscathed – he timed and steered the story on twitter with cooperation from his soon to be ex-wife Lauren.   

The downside is that playing out this very public and high-profile dissolution of their 25 year marriage on the worldwide web will undoubtedly have impacted deeply on their four children – and could affect them for years to come.

In our extensive experience Jones Myers has witnessed at first hand the dangers of using social media and mobile appliances during divorce. Worst case scenarios have entailed parents damaging their contact arrangements with their children for reasons which include posting damaging and detrimental comments on Facebook about their ex.

Also, the rising number of  ‘evidence seekers’ – which locate and use as evidence photographs of their ex at parties and their wining, dining and exotic travels across social media sites – has likewise increased the risk of being spotted at the wrong time – and in the wrong place.

Such indiscretions demand answers to difficult questions – in the same way as when texts are inadvertently sent to the wrong recipient.

When it comes to telling your nearest and dearest that your separation is imminent – is social media really the best platform?

While the younger generation may embrace the concept, keeping it simple and coordinated is key – as long as your breakdown is amicable. For couples embroiled in ongoing disputes, social media risks encouraging a ‘tit for tat’ exchange which escalates and attracts the wrong kind of followers.

It is vital that couples who are considering broadcasting the demise of their relationship online are knowledgeable and experienced in using the sites to prevent their plan backfiring.    

Always remember that with social media ‘delete’ does not mean disappear – there is always a permanent record of your postings which can be used as evidence in divorce cases. 

For queries on family law call our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104 or our York office on 01904 202550. Visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce

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