Can I talk about my divorce on Facebook?
Divorcing spouses should be cautious of their social media activity. Though sharing moments of our lives has become part of our modern culture, is it important to remember that posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social networking sites can have legal ramifications. In this post, Olivia Giacobbi, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, shares some tips for using social media when going through a separation.
What to Avoid Posting While Going Through a Divorce
Avoid venting about your spouse. Since emotions are high, this may be difficult. However, slandering a spouse on social media could delay a settlement or be used against you in the proceeding. Even if you delete a post, it is never 100% off of the internet. Additionally, it would only take a second for a friend or follower to take a screen shot before it was deleted.
“Revenge posts” are another social media pitfall to avoid. Resist posting photos with new partners, tagging your ex in posts or comments, or making inflammatory captions on your photos. This could delay or inhibit settlement, as well as increase tension and animosity.
Never post or send explicit photos of your ex. This would not only negatively affect your divorce but is a criminal offence.
Don’t post anything that could affect a judge’s opinion of your credibility or responsibility. Posts in which content is abusive or angry, shows illegal activity, or reckless behaviour could sway a judge’s opinion. Keep in mind comments, likes, other people’s posts you share, and posts you’re tagged in can all be traced back to you.
If you really want to use social media during your separation...
Don’t blindside a spouse if you want to announce, or post about, your divorce. Talk to your spouse first to let them know what you are sharing: they may not want all your friends or followers to know.
Always remain civil with your spouse on social media before, during, and after the divorce. Refraining from speaking ill of each other is even a term that can be included in a separation agreement.
It is no secret that emotions can run high during a divorce and turning to social media can be an outlet for emotions and a source of support. But being cautious of what you post and keeping these tips in mind will improve your chances of getting what you need from your proceeding, and also you to move forward in an amicable, healthy way.