Info & Advice

What to avoid doing on social media during divorce

Request a Free Consultation with a Solicitor

If you are going through a separation or divorce, it can be tempting to use social media platforms to air grievances about your ex. However, during a divorce, it is crucial to be restrained and cautious when it comes to your online presence. Here are our guidelines for what to avoid doing on social media during divorce.

  1. Some people put their whole life on social media, but the best way to avoid controversy is to stop posting publicly for the duration of your divorce or dissolution. Why not take a break and use the time to give yourself a social media detox? Even if you think the posts are fairly innocuous, your ex may try to find a way to use the information against you. Other so-called friends can screenshot your posts, so even if you delete something you later regret, it may still end up in circulation.
  2. Ensure your online privacy settings are the highest they can be. Remember, you can set your Instagram, Facebook, and X accounts so that only those you have accepted as friends or followers can see your content. If you are going to post, you should take every precaution to safeguard how you use social media and the internet in general. Keep in mind that your ex may already know your password, or make an educated guess; they may even have access to a device that never logged out or saved the password. Even with the utmost safety protocols, generally, what goes online, stays online. Avoid doing something that you will regret further down the line.
  3. Some people feel vindicated in taking to social media to trash their ex online, whilst others have family and friends wanting to support them, so blast the ex when they hear about the divorce. Make sure your family and friends know they are not doing you any favours by posting about your ex or your divorce on social media in any way.
  4. Run your own name through social media and discover your digital footprint, ensure there are no images of you related to social media posts that could be considered negative.
  5. Don’t post or share images of any new partners and remove yourself from the family cloud. Not only can it pose questions about your future financial and cohabitation arrangements, but it could also frustrate settlement negotiations, particularly if you are asking for spousal maintenance. If you have any nude images or videos, remove them if possible.
  6. Make sure that your emails and messages are not linked to your child’s devices that your ex has access to. In addition, deactivate the “find my friend” function which will allow your ex to find out where you are at any given moment.
  7. Children are tech savvy these days and can navigate the internet and electronic devices with hacker like precision. It is extremely difficult to entirely eradicate a post. To illustrate this point, it is possible to request Instagram to retrieve material that has been deleted. Additionally, if children experience their parents engaging in online warfare, it could be incredibly damaging.
  8. Don’t spy on your ex, however tempting this may be, as it is likely to cause you additional pain and distress. You could consider completely blocking them and their close friends and family members as this will give you some space without having posts from your ex pop up in your timeline.
  9. Don’t discuss court proceedings online, as doing so has the potential to damage your case, and you can be found to be in contempt of court. At best, you may simply get a telling off; at worst, you could receive a custodial sentence. Parties involved in court proceedings must keep the details confidential.
  10. Don’t allow yourself to be tagged in posts and photos. The easiest way to avoid this happening is to adjust your timeline settings on Facebook so that anything someone wants to post on your timeline is not displayed until you have reviewed it. If you don’t like the content, you can refuse the request. This also works for images of you that you don’t want others to post. You can also change your settings so that you are not tagged in posts on someone else’s wall/timeline, too.
  11. Be wary about who you are accepting as new friends or followers, particularly if the situation between you and your ex is acrimonious. What looks like an innocent new friend or connection might be your ex, or one of their close friends or family, with the sole intention of gathering any information they can use in the divorce to their advantage.
  12. Think before you post. Do you really need to share your 3am thoughts on your ex? Will your post be seen as unkind or thoughtless, or show you in a bad light? If you need to an outlet for your frustrations, think about keeping a private handwritten journal. Surprisingly, this can be very cathartic.
  13. Do follow organisations and people who might be able to help. Finding inspiration from others who have been, or are going through, a separation or divorce, can provide you with a great deal of support. Organisations that provide advice on divorce can often be a useful resource for help and guidance.

Social media etiquette during divorce

To summarise the above, the following is recommended during divorce or separation:

  • Avoid using social media to discuss the separation/divorce or case blame
  • Change passwords
  • Consider blocking your ex and their family/friends
  • Don’t make derogatory comments about your ex on social media
  • Don’t communicate publicly with your ex on social media (air your dirty laundry)
  • Avoid the temptation to announce a new relationship
  • Only allow new friends and permit connections with people you know and trust
  • Avoid placing any images or videos which may cause embarrassment or resentment
  • Do not discuss legal or court proceedings
  • Ask your friends/family not to tag you in anything
  • Don’t spy on your ex

It may be tempting to vent your frustrations over the divorce on social media, but this has a high chance of backfiring. Instead, rise above the provocation, maintain your privacy, and conduct yourself with dignity by restraining yourself from posting anything that could be used in the divorce. And, ideally, take a complete break from social media for the duration of the proceedings.

Related Articles

Load More

Podcast: Listen Now