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Social Media SOS

We’re all addicted to our phones. Most of us use social media without even thinking about it day to day but all the while you are dealing with divorce, separation and the big emotions that come along for the ride, social media is best seen as the enemy. Best practice would be to stay off all social media until your divorce and any child proceedings are finalised. As well as protecting your position throughout the process, avoiding social media will also help you mentally and give you time and space to focus on your wellbeing, your children and to prioritise self care. Social media can make it seem everyone is having an amazing time and loving life, remember that what you see is a curated version of what people want to portray and is not indicative of real life.

If you decide to continue using social media here are some DOS & DON’TS.

Do change all of your passwords. This is practical advice for anything accessed online.

Do check all privacy settings and set yours to the highest possible so that your account and anything you post can only be viewed and accessed by those whom you have approved.

Do fully disconnect from your ex across all platforms, they don’t need to see what you are doing/posting and you don’t need to see what they are up to. Unfriend and unfollow your ex’s friends and family and anyone who is likely to align with them. Anyone who truly cares about you will understand why you do this and if they don’t, they aren’t worth a second thought. When the dust settles and you are out the other side, you can re evaluate these connections and make changes.

Do be mindful of writing anything down, including text and whatsapp messages, your own social media posts or comments on other people’s as everything can be screenshot and shared even if it was only ever meant for one person’s eyes.

Do be conscious about the amount of time you spend scrolling through social media, it’s not good for you mentally. Consider other activities you could do instead.

Do monitor your children’s accounts closely. If your children have social media their posts may give you a good insight into their mental state, who they are spending time with and how they are conducting themselves. If they are finding it hard to communicate with you how they are feeling and coping then this could be a good way to get ahead of potential issues. It is also worth being aware that if they aren’t dealing well with the divorce they could post something as a cry for help that could end up having serious consequences.

Don’t post about your ex, their family or friends.

Don’t use social media as a point scoring exercise with your ex i.e. I’m a better parent, I’m having a better life, look at how great my life is etc.

Don’t use social media as an outlet for your strong emotions, especially if you’ve been treated badly or cheated on. It’s understandable that you might want everyone to know what your ex has done, however social media during divorce should be approached with extreme caution. It can cause you increased stress and potentially affect your position legally, as it could be used against you during financial and/or child proceedings.

Don’t share any details of legal proceedings, either financial or child related online.

Don’t go digging for information on your ex, stalking them (or their friends and family) online will only make you feel worse. You have no context for what you see and it will keep you stuck in a negative place and possibly toxic mindset.

Don’t post content of you and a new partner until your divorce is finalised and don’t include your children in photos with a new partner. If your ex finds out that you are in a new relationship this could create further acrimony in your divorce as emotions and feelings of jealousy, anger or suspicion rise to the surface.

Some questions to ask yourself before posting on social media:

  • What if your funny post about your over drinking with friends one weekend is twisted to make you look like an unfit parent?

  • What if your post about a new outfit you bought or holiday you are on is juxtaposed to the financial position you are claiming?

  • How else can you share highs with friends/family that don’t leave you exposed?

  • What are you posting about and why?

  • Is it worth the risk?

The most important question to ask yourself when posting on social media is:

  • What would a judge think if he/she was making a judgement at your final hearing and they saw this post?

If you would like some help and support coping with your divorce or separation, transitioning to co-parenting or dealing with conflict, please book a free initial call to find out how coaching can help your unique situation.


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