When you’re going through a divorce, it can be tempting to air your grievances at any given opportunity. In a world where we’re constantly connected, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become an everyday outlet for our emotions – both the good and the bad.
But discussing your divorce and any surrounding issues in a public forum could land you in tricky territory. If you choose to use social media during your divorce, here are some things to bear in mind.
If anything you’ve posted on social media contradicts what you’re trying to achieve during negotiations, it could make it harder to secure a fair outcome.
It’s very easy for social posts to be taken out of context, and whilst we’re not suggesting that you stop buying the things you need or take time out for yourself, posting pictures of new purchases, holidays, or nights out isn’t a good idea. This is particularly true if you’re seeking spousal maintenance.
Keep your private life private
When you start financial proceedings or agree to voluntary financial disclosure, you’ll need to be honest about whether or not you’re in a new relationship. Any new relationship more than just casual dating could impact the outcome of your divorce, particularly if you start living together and sharing the day-to-day financial responsibilities.
Again, remember that a lot can be read into even the simplest of social media posts, so keep your private life to yourself. There’s nothing to be gained from trying to make your ex jealous using pictures of you with a new ‘partner’ and everything to lose.
Don’t badmouth your ex
This is never a good idea and is even more pertinent if you’re in discussions with your partner about the long-term arrangements for the children. Think before you post and consider the implications of negatively discussing your ex-spouse online. If the shoe were on the other foot, how would you react?
Badmouthing your ex could lead to accusations of parental alienation, making matters more contentious than they need to be.
Don’t engage in conflict
You’ll often be connected with people who have known you and your ex as a couple. When separations happen, it’s not uncommon for friendships to change and for people to take sides.
This could result in some of your connections posting things to incite a response from you. Do not engage. It might be difficult, but ignore any comments and rise above any negative discussions. Refrain from talking about your divorce and focus on moving forward in a positive way.
Think carefully before you post
Things said in the heat of the moment over social media can easily be used against you. Once posted, it only takes a few seconds for someone to take a screenshot that could have long-lasting effects.
For instance, angry words could be spun into evidence of emotional abuse or even coercive control. Avoid using inflammatory and aggressive language at all costs. Once something’s out in the internet ether, it can be virtually impossible to take back.
Of course, how you use your social media is up to you. However, if you know that you can’t hold back from engaging in unhelpful conversations, the best option is to delete all your accounts – at least until your divorce is over so that all temptation is removed.
Although there are steps you can take to make your divorce more manageable, it pays to have the advice of an expert family lawyer. At Harrogate Family Law, we’re always here to help our clients avoid costly mistakes. We know that divorce can be a stressful time, which is why understanding and compassion are at the heart of what we do.
Contact us today to discuss your options.