Divorces are rarely not messy. What was once a happy a marriage can spiral into a hurricane of emotions, accusations, revelations, and alimony checks. This can create ripples across each spouse’s circle of family and friends. And in many ways, the rise of social media has only made divorces even more complicated.
Couples who just filed for divorce or are newly-divorced are especially vulnerable to social media misuse, with some cases leading to consequences as serious as losing child custody.
The key to avoiding this is knowing a few important social media dos and don’ts that apply both in the online and real world.
Don’t Embarrass Yourself Online
You see someone cute at work, go for a night out with your friends, or find yourself a new lover shortly after your divorce, and your first impulse might be to post about it on your online page. Resist. If you’re in the middle of a divorce, your spouse’s lawyer probably has a magnifying glass on you right now, and every move and statement you make can be construed against you.
That means a simple group picture of a night out with friends is now fodder for the opposing counsel to question your parenting skills. Post wisely, or child custody and spousal support could be on the line.
Don’t Continue Using Social Media as Your Personal Journal
A divorce can take a massive emotional toll on anyone, with the slightest mistake and frustration ruining your day. Further complicating this is how many people have the habit of expressing their troubles and frustrations on Facebook or Twitter, which, as previously mentioned, can come right back and hurt your case unnecessarily.
If expressing yourself is cathartic, now may be the perfect time to visit a bookstore and pick up a journal. Let your frustrations and discoveries out on paper where no one else can see and take them against you (although personal journals can be subject to discovery – ask your lawyer). Remember to keep your frustrations and rants private.
Don’t Expose Your Ex
Having married your spouse, it’s only natural that you know about secrets about that person. In times of anger and agitation, you could be tempted to rage, go online, and shame your ex for everyone to see. But in situations like this, it’s best to seek the moral high ground.
From a more practical standpoint, remember that your spouse also knows things about you that you wouldn’t want to be shared online. So it might be better to hold your peace than cast the first stone.
The safest and quickest thing to do during a divorce is to deactivate your social media accounts—at least until the divorce proceedings are finished. Not only does this prevent you from making a mess online, it makes your online history unavailable for research, and protects you from viewing provocative posts yourself.
If you want to learn more about managing your online affairs during a divorce, schedule a consultation with family law attorney Daniella Lyttle. Call the Lyttle Law Firm today to learn more about our legal services.