Social media has, arguably, changed everything about the ways that people connect to each other – and it’s also changing the way they break up.
These days, Facebook alone is cited in one-fifth of U.S. divorces, and it’s become commonplace for aggrieved spouses to go digging around on their partners’ social media accounts for evidence of emotional affairs, physical infidelity, hidden assets and more.
If you’re going through a divorce, you should probably delete your apps and back away from your keyboard until the whole thing is done. If that’s not possible, here are some tips for what to do instead:
1. Consider opening new accounts
You probably share a lot of social media friends in common with your spouse, and that needs to change. You should strongly consider abandoning your regular accounts for the time being. You can set up new ones and carefully add only people you know and trust to your roster of friends.
2. Ramp up your privacy settings
Whether you stick with your regular accounts or open new ones, you need to max out your privacy settings. That won’t necessarily stop someone from stalking your pages to get information, but it will make it more difficult.
3. Don’t trash your ex online
The number one rule to remember right now is that you don’t want to post anything online that you don’t want to see blown up on a display in court or that you don’t want to explain to a judge. Don’t make jokes at your ex’s expense or make any negative comments – and don’t let anybody else do it on your pages. That can inflame your ex and make divorce negotiations a lot harder than necessary.
4. Never talk about your divorce
You also want to keep your frustrations with the court, the system and the whole divorce process to yourself. If you need to vent about the division of property or your custody negotiations to someone, find a therapist or talk to a trusted friend – but don’t take it online. You don’t want to antagonize anybody within the court system.
When you’re going through a divorce, it’s hard not to feel upset, confused and uncertain about what to do next. The right legal guidance by your side can make all the difference.