Are you on social media? If you are reading this, the answer is most likely, “Yes.” Everyone we know is on the virtual community likened to a “cool kids” club of some sort. Not being on the train relegates us to the outdated “old school,” which is anything but cool.
People, both married and single, are participants on the fields of social media; everyone has a platform to express themselves in texts, audios and visuals.
Unfortunately, research shows that social media has led to the end of marriages. When not managed properly, it causes even more harm during divorces, as divorcing couples add salt to already inflicted injuries by certain actions.
Here are three social media mistakes divorcing couples often make and should avoid.
Revealing too much
Due to an overwhelming social media addiction, most divorcing couples find it difficult to draw the line between private and public matters.
Since everyone is on social media, addicted people experience what is called FOMO (fear of missing out), Hence, they keep watch on what’s happening in everyone’s life, and they are quick to dish out what’s happening in theirs in order to keep up with the trend.
Going through a divorce can take a toll on someone, making them vulnerable and seeking comfort in available places. For most divorcing couples, social media is the first point of call for self expression. They open the doors to their fallen marriage to total strangers, giving them full details of happenings and proceedings.
When the cat is let out of the bag, it’s difficult to get it back in. Everything is out in the open until there’s nothing left.
With these revelations comes a series of unsolicited misleading advice.
Julia Rodgers, founder of Holistic Divorce, advises:
Couples should keep divorce-related issues away from the public. Doing this gives them the power to control the narrative and solidifies their case. In this age where comparison and blame-shifting is rife, couples are tempted to tell the world who’s at fault. However, doing this helps nobody.
Sharing incriminating posts
In divorce court proceedings, law attorneys put their best foot forward, presenting any evidence that can strengthen their case. They make use of incriminating posts made by the other party against them.
For instance, photos depicting one’s excessive social life can be presented as evidence of neglect of family responsibilities. It can be argued that while said person was supposed to be catering to their family, they were busy partying. Images of excessive alcohol drinking and drug use weaken one’s case regarding child custody and alimony.
The need for self-censorship during divorce proceedings is very important. Before posting anything, ask yourself if doing so could hurt your case. If you already have things online that can be used against you, ensure that you take them down immediately before the other party lays their hands on them. If you aren’t so sure about the rules of engagement, seek divorce counsel from a qualified legal professional in your state.
Defaming their spouse
In the face of conflict, people naturally play the victim in order to win sympathy. One way most do this is by making the other party look bad. A divorcing partner can reveal questioning information about their spouse on social media, which can be argued as defamation in the law court.
There are three sides to a story. While telling your own side could give you the sympathy and support you desire, it could affect your case negatively, especially when you do not have strong evidence of your claims.
Any negative information you have about your spouse should be presented through the right channels in court, and not on the social media. At the end of the day, having the case in your favor, supersedes the validation you’ll get from mostly strangers online.
The emotional trauma and drama involved in divorce litigation is hard enough, and using social media erroneously increases the pain. In the beginning, the union was contracted between you and your spouse void of the public on social media. Whatever happens should be treated as private and confidential. Only those who matter should have the privilege of being in the know.
After the likes, shares and retweets on social media are over, all you’ll have left are you and the consequences of your actions.
Image courtesy of malerapaso/iStock.