Divorce is messy. So is social media. And when you mix your divorce and social media, things can get complicated.
The most simple, and by far the best solution, is to stop using social media while your divorce is underway. But realistically, that can be difficult for a lot of people. The next best thing is to practice common sense when it comes to using social media while going through a divorce.
Here are six rules to follow when it comes to divorce and social media:
1. Don’t Unfriend or Block Your Ex
Unfriending your soon-to-be-ex may seem like the best way to begin to bring closure to this part of your life, but it may cause more damage than you think. During a divorce, tensions are high. If you’re not getting along (or even if you are), it’s best to stay as civil as you can. By deciding to unfriend or block your ex, you may invite even more tension to your already fractured relationship and cause your spouse to think you might be hiding something.
2. Post Responsibly
This can mean a lot of things. For instance, don’t post photos of you drinking, doing drugs (or anything else illegal, for that matter), or doing anything irresponsible around your kids. Posts like that can be used as evidence against you in a custody battle. Also, refrain from getting into any online arguments with anyone. Social media can bring out the worst in us, and an angry comment you leave on someone’s post could cause someone to think you have anger issues. It’s best in these situations to just ignore a post you don’t agree with.
3. Stop Posting Vacation Pics and New Toys
It’s always fun to post photos on social media of us splashing in the surf, having a margarita by the hotel pool (see #2) or sightseeing in another country. But when you’re going through a divorce, money and how much you have of it is always an issue. Try to skip posting photos of you on vacation or of you in your new car or motorcycle. These can be used against you when it comes to how much money you’ll be paying your ex in alimony.
4. Don’t Share Pictures of Your New Girlfriend/Boyfriend
In the same vein, if you’ve started dating again during your divorce process, don’t post anything about your new special someone. Wounds are still undoubtedly fresh, and if your ex happens to see a post about how happy you are in your new relationship, it’ll not only spark hurt and resentment, but it very well could cause your divorce process to go on longer than necessary.
5. Stop Dishing on Your Divorce
Going through a divorce is an emotional time. And it always helps to have someone you can vent to and get advice from. But social media is not the place to do this. Nor it is the place to talk badly about your ex. Not only does airing your dirty laundry online make people feel uncomfortable, but it makes you look like you are emotionally unstable. And if you’re applying for a new job, the hiring manager is going to check your social media profile. They won’t want to hire someone with all of that baggage.
6. Don’t Be a Creeper
As much as you may want your ex back, scrolling through his or her profile isn’t going to help. Or, if you want to see what they’ve been up to since you’ve been separated, resist the urge to creep on them online (or in person, for that matter). Like you, they deserve their privacy during this difficult time. Plus, it won’t do you any good anyway. It’ll just make this process even more emotional for you and can stifle your ability to move on.
Generally, less is more when it comes to your divorce and social media. Anything you post on social media can be used as evidence against you in court, so don’t share anything online you wouldn’t want to a judge to read!
Contact a Chattanooga Divorce Lawyer
If you are going through a divorce, we can help. Kiff Newkirk has more than 20 years experience working with clients dealing with divorce, alimony, child custody and visitation, legal separation, enforcing obligations after a divorce and more. For more information, visit our family law page and call (423) 531-2800. Or send us an email, and we’ll respond as soon as we can.