Going through a divorce is difficult. It does not need to be public.
Social Media has changed our lives in amazing and frightening ways. We connect with hundreds or thousands of people simply by clicking on our laptop, tablet or phone. “Sharing” has taken on a new meaning.
When it comes to your personal life, especially when divorce is in picture, think carefully before sharing. Lawyers representing clients going through separation and divorce routinely check out the other party’s social media activity. There are countless stories of husbands and wives being caught doing things they should not be doing as a result of a social media post.
Even if you are behaving yourself, exercise care before you post. If you and your spouse are separating and trying to do so amicably, one careless post showing you and the new girlfriend or boyfriend may derail the whole process. Your amicable separation may turn into a court battle.
Do’s and Dont’s:
- Do change your social media passwords frequently. This will decrease the likelihood your site gets hacked and it will prevent an angry spouse from investigating or sabotaging your site.
- Do not post angry or derisive things about your spouse. If you wind up in court, that rant may become evidence.
- Do keep your personal life private. If you need to vent, do it in person and in private to a trusted friend.
- Do not include personal information about your children on public social media sites. This is less about divorce and more about common sense. Do not give potential predators personal information they can use for evil purposes.
- Do consult the social media sites of legal professionals, counselors and other experts. Many times, these professionals have websites that are fairly unchanging, but also have social media sites that are updated frequently with blogs and current information.
The internet has opened a world of information to all of us and it can be a wonderful resource to learn about topics such as collaborative divorce, mediation and parenting coordination. Use social media as a tool, not a weapon. Most times a client of mine has attempted to use social media as a weapon (without my knowledge or advice), the result was a self-inflicted injury.
Finally, remember that once posted, your words and pictures are out there forever. If you think about the fact that your young children may one day discover your nasty post about their other parent, you will be less likely to hit “send.” As we should all know by now, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not the place for the most serious and personal of issues.