Emotions often run high during a divorce. It is only natural to turn to your family and friends for advice and comfort when those motions threaten to overwhelm you. Be careful though how you communicate with your support circle. Dallas divorce lawyer Rita M. Boyd explains why you need to be careful what you post or disseminate on social media if you are going through a divorce.
Your Emotions and Divorce
Although it is possible to have a truly amicable divorce, it is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the legal process of ending a marriage. Some people experience anger at their spouse, either for choosing to “give up” on the marriage or because they blame them for “destroying” the marriage. Others experience a wide range of emotions from sadness and grief to depression and a sense of failure. Fear and anxiety are also common emotional reactions to divorce, particularly if your financial situation is likely to change as a result of the divorce and/or custody of your minor children is contested. Even if you are feeling relieved at the prospect of ending your marriage, you still need to watch what you say and where you say it during the divorce process.
The Rise of Social Media
Depending on your age, you may or may not remember a time when people communicated without the use of social media. Once upon a time, however, people only talked to each other in person, through letters, or over the telephone, meaning their communication was not generally public. Today, however, almost everyone has at least one social media account. Even grandparents have learned how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or SnapChat so they can stay up to date on the lives of their grandchildren. Many people now use social media as their primary method of communicating because it is easily accessible, and it has the ability to disseminate updates or photos to large groups of people all at once. Those same benefits, however, can become a huge detriment if you are going through a contentious divorce.
Social Media and Your Divorce
If you are one of the billions of people around the world who routinely turn to social media when you feel the need to vent, it is imperative that you restrain that urge during your divorce. Complaining the unknown motorist who cut you off in traffic on Facebook is not the same as complaining about your soon-to-be ex on Instagram. Keep in mind that even the most conservative privacy settings cannot guarantee that your posts will remain private. With that in mind, while your divorce is pending, do not:
- Post derogatory comments about your spouse. No matter how you feel about your soon-to-be ex, refrain from putting those feelings in writing. If you end up in court, the words you used could be used against you (especially if you made baseless accusations) and/or paint you in a bad light in the eyes of the judge.
- Discuss the details of your divorce proceedings. When there are contested issues in a divorce it can be tempting to get angry when you feel you are “losing” or get excited when you feel you are “winning.” Until the divorce decree is final and filed with the court, however, nothing is certain. Discussing your position publicly, therefore, can only hurt you.
- Post (or allow others) to post photos of you that cast in a negative light. You may feel like you are single again; however, until the proverbial ink is dry you remain legally married. Photos of you with a new love interest, or partying the night away, could negatively affect your divorce. For example, they could undermine your chances of being awarded custody of your minor children.
- Complain about your children. Parenthood is frustrating. Keep the complaining to in person chats with friends though because doing so on social media will not help you in a custody battle.
- Post information/photos relating to your finances or assets. This rule really always applies, not just when going through a divorce. During a divorce, however, you need to remain especially tight lipped about your finances. Imagine, for example, how it would look if you were asking for alimony while simultaneously purchasing a vacation home?
Contact a Dallas Divorce Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about divorce in the State of Texas, contact experienced Dallas divorce lawyer Rita M. Boyd, P.C. to discuss your legal rights and options by calling 972-380-8000 to schedule your appointment today.