The phenomenon started well before then, but the last decade has seen exponential growth in the use of social networking platforms. From status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to sharing videos on YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram, many individuals are in the habit of posting random thoughts, daily experiences and adventurous photos several times a day. Unfortunately, in a divorce, sharing information on social media can have a negative impact.
No matter if you are ending your marriage on good terms or you are facing a legal battle centering on emotionally fueled negotiations, you should make the conscious effort to remain as private on social networking sites as possible. Here are some tips to remember:
- No false modesty, no boasting: This can mean posting about an extravagant vacation or a pricey purchase. It is wise to keep silent about such things. Whether the post is a true moment of pride or a piece of exaggerated puffery, these moments can be used against you when discussing financial matters like property division, hidden assets and spousal support.
- No commenting on the divorce itself: Even a post that seemed like a silly joke or harmless commentary can backfire in the future, derailing negotiations, and enflaming emotions. Often, these posts are commented on by friends or family members of your spouse – or by your spouse himself or herself. These comments can lead to responses, which can lead to arguments.
- Disengage from extended family members: Like the above note, it might be wise to extricate yourself from your extended family or even close friends of your soon-to-be-ex spouse. Questions, comments or private emails might be twisted to the benefit of your ex due to the fierce loyalty of these individuals.
- No responses within 24 hours: Unless your spouse needs a time-sensitive response, it is wise to hold off on responding for 24 hours. This gives you a chance to cool down and properly phrase your comment or answer. Additionally, if the comment seems to be argumentative from the start, it probably does not warrant an answer at all. Unless you are being asked a direct question, it is perfectly fine to choose silence over a response that can lead to more arguments.
Essentially – and this is lifestyle advice that extends beyond a divorce – you should never post anything online that you are not comfortable being seen by everyone forever. A picture or comment that is shared in private, or even deleted soon after posting, is still accessible.
When divorce becomes a reality, it is crucial that you seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can provide the insight and answers you need.