Divorce in the 21st Century: 4 Tips for Social Media Etiquette
In today’s technological world, many people put their whole lives on social media for everyone to see. We understand that navigating social media sites during and after your divorce can be tricky; however, the wrong posts can really cost you. By following these tips for social media etiquette during your divorce, you can steer clear of potential problems down the road.
Why You Need to Follow Proper Etiquette
In more and more cases, social media posts are being used as admissible evidence against a spouse during divorce litigation. They’re sometimes used to prove infidelity which can, in turn, be used to impact alimony awards. Some states, like Connecticut, will give greater alimony payments to innocent spouses while others will not give any alimony to a cheating spouse if that’s what caused the divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also be affected—many include a clause that eliminates alimony in the event of infidelity, and greater payments can be given to a spouse that has been cheated on.
Social media can also be used for other reasons such as custody or asset battles. If you have photos of yourself smoking, drinking, or doing drugs around your children, your spouse can use that as evidence that you’re an unfit parent. They can also use pictures of the children engaging in risky behaviors to show that your children aren’t safe with you. If your spouse feels that you are hiding assets and you post pictures of your latest vacation or shopping spree, that can come back to bite you as well. The main takeaway here should be that you should be cautious about posts on social media before, during, and after a divorce. Keep social media posts to a minimum in the process.
Tips for Social Media Etiquette During and After Your Divorce
Photos aren’t the only issue during divorce proceedings. You want to keep things as civil as possible between you and your spouse to make the process easier. Here are four tips you should follow to avoid bitterness:
1. Don’t Race to Change Your Relationship Status
You should remain quiet about the divorce on social media until you both decide on the best way to break the news. In all cases, avoid posting the lurid details of an affair or any financial issues that led to the split. The public doesn’t need to know, and all it will do is drive another wedge between you and your spouse and complicate your proceedings.
2. Avoid “Vague-booking” and Public Rants
Posting negative statuses on your Facebook page is the most blatant example of this. You don’t want to stoke the fire when there are legal issues at stake, and it will only serve to make your friends and family uncomfortable. Same goes for getting into arguments online—the anonymity of an online platform makes people more likely to say things they would never say in person. Posting when you’re in a deeply emotional place is inadvisable. Keeping your feelings out of the public eye will help you turn the next chapter of your life more easily.
3. Unfriend or Unfollow Your In-laws
When you divorce your spouse, you’re also divorcing their family and friends. Once you finalize your divorce, it’s best to let go of any extraneous relationships on social media. Have a discussion with your spouse about whether you want to remain friends with them on these platforms. It can be necessary to stay connected if you’re raising kids together, but if animosity exists between you, you might want to unfriend them as well.
4. Don’t Spy or Stalk Your Ex
After the end of a difficult breakup, it can be tempting to stalk your ex’s social media accounts. Making yourself crazy over every new “friend” they add or seeking out evidence of new relationships will only hurt you emotionally. The healthiest way to move on is to focus on yourself with a view towards moving onto a new chapter in your life. One that is peaceful and fulfilling. Life is short.
When your marriage has come to an end, it’s important to competently navigate the murky waters of social media to make the divorce proceedings as simple and amicable as possible. When in doubt, contact a divorce attorney at McConnell Family Law Group to ensure you are legally protected. We help clients to find Peace Through Strength. To speak to a team member about your family’s legal needs, click here.