Info & Advice

What things can I say about my ex on social media?

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Whilst it can be tempting to air your breakdown grievances about an ex to anyone who will engage, in a world where we are constantly connected, social media platforms such as Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok, have become the go to outlets to spill our feelings, both good and bad.

But discussing your ex and any connected legal proceedings on a public forum could land you in hot water. Family lawyers generally take the view that during a split, parties should refrain from using social media altogether, but if such a digital detox is impossible, take care what you post.

Here’s how you can approach making comments about your ex in a manner that is likely to avoid legal issues and maintain a positive social image:

  • Positive comments about your ex, such as expressing good wishes for their future endeavours, are usually safe. These types of comments foster a positive online environment and are unlikely to create legal issues or social backlash.
  • Statements that are clearly factual and not disparaging can also typically be shared without issue. For instance, mentioning that you attended an event together or acknowledging a mutual accomplishment doesn’t imply negativity and is generally acceptable.
  • If there is a constructive purpose behind your comments – perhaps relating to shared professional or creative activities – can be acceptable, provided they are framed respectfully and objectively. For example, discussing a project’s outcomes in a factual and non-emotive manner is usually fine.
  • Sharing lessons learned from relationships in a way that does not single out or negatively target your ex can also be an acceptable approach. For instance, discussing personal growth or insights gained without assigning blame is more likely to be seen as reflective rather than harmful.
  • When you want to share thoughts that could be linked to your ex, keep your comments general. Avoid specifics that clearly identify or link back to the person if there’s any chance the commentary could be taken negatively.
  • Always reflect on why you want to post about your ex. If the motivation comes from a place of hurt or revenge, it would be wise to reconsider posting. If your intent is genuinely positive or constructive, then your comments are more likely to be perceived in that light.
  • If you must express frustration or disappointment, do it privately or in a non-public way that doesn’t invite wider scrutiny or potential conflict.
  • Always steer clear of making statements that could be defamatory. Even if a statement is true, consider whether sharing it publicly might bring unnecessary legal complications.
  • Uphold your ex’s right to privacy by not sharing personal or sensitive information about them, particularly details that were disclosed in confidence during the relationship.
  • Ensure your comments do not become harassing, especially if you find yourself posting frequently about your ex. This includes avoiding any language that could be seen as threatening or excessively critical.

Tips for posting about an ex on social media

Be consistent

If your posts contradict with what you are trying to achieve during negotiations, it is likely to make it harder to secure a fair outcome. It is extremely easy for social media posts to be taken out of context, and posting photographs of lavish new purchases, holidays, or nights out is not a good idea when you are in the throes of financial discussions.

Keeping yourself to yourself

When you start financial proceedings or are in the process of financial disclosure, you will need to be honest about whether or not you are in a new relationship. Anything more than casual dating could impact the outcome of a divorce or dissolution, especially if you begin to cohabit and share day-to-day financial expenses with a new partner.

A lot can be read into even the simplest of posts, so keep your private life to yourself. There is nothing to be gained from trying to make an ex jealous by posting photographs of you with someone new.

No badmouthing

Bad-mouthing an ex on social media is never a good idea. Even more so if you are engaged in discussions about long-term arrangements for the children. Think before posting and consider the implications of negatively discussing your ex online.

Try not to engage in conflict

It is important to remember that even though you may have removed your ex or blocked them from social media, you may still be connected with people who have known you and your ex as a couple. When separations happen, it is not uncommon for friendships to change and for people to take sides.

This may lead to some of your connections posting things to incite a response from you. Do not engage, even if provoked, and try to ignore any comments. Easier said than done, but rising above any negative discussions and refusing to talk about your separation will help you focus on move forward in a positive way.

Comments made in the heat of the moment over social media can easily be used against you. Once posted, it only takes a few seconds for someone to take a screen grab, which could have far reaching repercussions. Fundamentally, how you use social media is really up to you, but by adhering to these guidelines, you can communicate in a way that respects both your ex’s dignity, right to a private life and your own social and legal standing. Expressing yourself with maturity and caution on social media is crucial, especially when past relationships are involved. This approach not only minimises the risk of legal repercussions but also maintains your reputation as a considerate and respectful individual in the digital sphere.

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