No two divorces are exactly alike, but mutual respect is an important tool to keep the peace in any struggle over aspects such as child custody or child support. Unfortunately, social media is sometimes abused by angry spouses who want to lash out at each other over perceived wrongs. That’s always a mistake. Consider these ways to avoid social media mistakes during a divorce.
Ask a Trusted Friend to Filter Your Posts
Avoid posting on your divorce altogether. In fact, if you can help it, don’t mention your estranged spouse online at all. However, if you feel that you must post about your divorce on your social media, ask someone who is knowledgeable about family law and your personal situation to read your posts before you publish them on a social media website.
A trusted friend can point out why you shouldn’t make certain posts, or they can at least offer you insights on the possible consequences of a certain post. Don’t make your entire decision based on one person’s opinion, but having someone else to weigh in on the post can help you avoid impulsive posts that can have long-term consequences.
Monitor the Comments From Friends and Family Members
During a divorce, some well-meaning but misguided friends and family members may make angry social media posts of their own. Also, they may comment on your posts with angry words about your ex or the struggle you’re in. If you notice any such comments, delete them and contact the person to ask them to not make any further angry comments.
Try to nip this in the bud before it becomes a problem by privately asking your close loved ones to avoid posting anything about the situation online. If you have a hard time bringing up the topic for fear of offending them, start the talk by expressing the things you want to express online but then explaining all the wise reasons you’re refraining from posting about your estranged spouse.
Identify Safe Spaces Where You Can Rant Without Consequences
People most often get in trouble with social media when they rely on it as a place to rant or use it as a primary source of emotional support. Avoid this common trap by identifying safe spaces where you can rant in total privacy without worrying about your words coming back to haunt you one day.
If possible, go to therapy. Nearly anyone can benefit from seeing a psychotherapist, and this can be especially helpful when you go through a life change as difficult as a divorce and custody dispute. Therapy is the ultimate safe space for expressing the hurt, anger, and confusion that you feel. And your words won’t leave your therapist’s office.
Also, reach out to friends to let them know that you may need to rant and vent sometimes during the divorce or custody dispute. Ask a couple of close friends if you can call them any time of day if you have an especially hard time. Knowing that you can simply call them without guilt when you need to rant may empower you to avoid the temptation of ranting on social media.
Act as Though Your Kids Will Read Your Posts Someday
Things that are on the internet can seem more permanent than those that are in a book or even etched in stone. Things linger online sometimes even if you choose to delete them. Spiders save things that are on websites, and sometimes others repost content that others created without their permission.
You have a chance that anything you post online will one day be read by your kids. In fact, if you post about your ex publicly online, you never know when that post can get back to your children. That can happen sooner rather than later. Always think about whether the post could hurt your children if they read it now or in the future.
Never Assume You Post Privately on Social Media
The privacy setting on Facebook’s posts and other social media websites’ posts can give posters a false sense of security. You may think that a friend is on your side, but anyone who sees your post can easily screenshot it and share it elsewhere online or even send it directly to your ex. Act as though even friends-only posts are public when posting on your estranged spouse.
Also, exercise caution when sending private messages through social media websites, too. While those should not be seen by anyone other than your intended recipient, simply call a friend to talk if you want to express anger during the divorce.
Finally, always err on the side of caution with social media. If you feel compelled to make a negative remark about your estranged spouse, ask your lawyer before making any social media posts that may compromise your divorce. Contact the Madison Law Firm today to speak to a caring member of our team about how we can help with your divorce.