– See below for updates on 2024 Attorneys CLE Requirement –

It’s fair to say that most people who partake in social media enjoy the ease and speed of staying connected with family and friends, especially as our busy lives have diminished our face-to-face time with those we care about. For those with an active social media life, the various platforms likely influence their style of how they communicate, share experiences and interact with others. Some people are content with being passive observers while on the opposite end of the spectrum, others are addicted to posting about every facet of their life. Regardless of a person’s level of social media engagement, certain online behaviors can be a contributor and predictor of adverse effects on a marriage. It’s therefore no surprise that multiple research studies have revealed that Facebook is blamed for one out of every five couples filing for divorce in the United States.¹

Contributing factors include:

  • A preoccupation with social media which leads to neglect of the marital and parenting relationships.
  • The seeking out and reconnecting with past romantic partners.
  • On-going conflicts due to misunderstandings of the intention of posts.
  • Feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction with the marriage after viewing idealized – and often unrealistic – versions of other people’s lives.

A Path to Divorce

A new term that has recently evolved with the rise in social media use is “micro cheating.” It refers to online behavior that has not yet morphed into a physical affair but can have dire effects on a marriage. Examples of micro cheating include confiding in past romantic partners about current relationship issues, neglecting to share the status of a current relationship, sharing risqué photos and salacious dialogue with someone other than a partner and secretly messaging someone behind a partner’s back.

Micro cheating may be tricky to confirm. Signs that someone is micro cheating include hiding and deleting text messages, frequently keeping the phone face down, abruptly shutting the computer when a partner walks into the room and being glued to a phone or computer even when a partner or child is trying to get their attention. When micro cheating behavior gets out of hand, it can easily escalate into an emotional affair and ultimately may lead to infidelity.

Tips for Managing Social Media During a Divorce

Throughout divorce proceedings, parties must remember that they are under a microscope, being examined by both their spouse and the opposing counsel. This evidence gathering includes of course a deep dive into their social media history and current activity. In fact, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, “81 percent of divorce attorneys report increasing numbers of spouses searching for online evidence when there are suspicions of bad behavior, infidelity or online affairs.” 1 There is nothing better to boost or weaken a case by discovering inappropriate pictures and videos, threatening comments, extravagant vacations, expensive purchases and so on. Every check-in and tagged photo, which contains information about whereabouts and company kept, can be incriminating evidence of a spouse’s wrongdoing. With a click of the mouse, the outcome of settlements and custody agreements can turn the case in favor of one party based on something that has been posted on social media.

There are steps parties can take to decrease the likelihood of social media activity being used against a party before and during the divorce proceedings. One approach is to temporarily deactivate all social media accounts for the duration of the process. To that point, in their retainer, many attorneys are now including a ban on social media use during the divorce proceedings.

If those measures are too drastic for a client, other recommendations are:

  • First and foremost, clients should discuss their social media habits with their attorney.
  • Prior to starting divorce proceedings, parties should review all prior social media posts, comments, likes, tags, photos and videos, etc. and delete anything they would not want to end up in the opposing attorney’s or judge’s hands.
  • Clients should change their social media passwords and make their accounts private.
  • Clients should not post negative comments about their spouse and not share anything about the divorce. They should ask their friends and family to do the same. Further, friends and family should not tag them in photos that are questionable.
  • Parties should remove their ex and their ex’s friends from their social media pages.
  • Clients should not post pictures of themselves partying, consuming alcohol or drugs or keeping company with questionable people or a new romantic interest.
  • Parties should review their friends’ connections for potential “informants” who may be monitoring their activities and reporting them back to their spouse.
  • Clients should not post content about vacations, raises, bonuses and the like.

In my opening statement at the beginning of every mediation, I remind both parties that all mediation discussions and negotiations are confidential and that neither party is permitted to post those communications on social media.

Mediation in Divorce

While there are benefits to engaging in social media during many points in our lives, the time spent pre- and during divorce are not among them. If social media use has exacerbated or even stalled out the divorce process, sitting down to mediation provides a format to work through the challenges in a calm and peaceful manner. For the past nine years I have exclusively practiced family mediations, following my 18-year career in litigation. Attorneys and clients can count on my expertise to bring creative solutions to the table that lead to an expeditious and amicable outcome for both parties.


Important Updates to Attorneys CLE Requirements

Effective January 8, 2024, there are changes to Florida Bar member’s CLE requirements for the three-year reporting cycle.² ³

The revisions are as follows:

  • There is a new requirement that Florida Bar members must complete a free two-hour “ legal professionalism” webinar produced by The Florida Bar. The Supreme Court Order grants a grace period: For any member who has less than three months remaining in a reporting cycle, “the requirement to take the two-hour, Bar-produced course on professionalism will not apply until the member’s subsequent reporting cycle.” Access the mandatory professionalism webinar CLE video here.
  • The requirement for “bias elimination“ has been removed. However, any bias elimination courses taken before January 8, 2024 will count toward a member’s fulfillment of the five-hour sub-requirement for the applicable reporting cycle.
  • At least three of the 30 CLE credit hours must be in technology.
  • At least five of the 30 CLE credit hours must be in professional responsibility which includes: legal ethics, professionalism, substance abuse or mental health and wellness programs.

For more information on these changes, visit The Florida Bar’s Continuing Legal Education page.



¹Psychology Today

²Supreme Court Order to CLE Requirements

³CLE Requirements FAQs