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Think twice before treating your ex poorly online

Social media has proven to be a powerful venue. Social media campaigns have sparked interest in world events, have helped to spread the word about worthy causes and have connected countless loved ones. In these ways, social media has proven to be a positive force. However, it can also be used as a tool for spreading hate, misinformation and a host of other negative forces.

You likely use social media primarily as a force for good. However, you may also be unintentionally spreading negative messages that may eventually come back to bite you. When you are online, do you ever vent about your former spouse or your child’s other parent? While venting your frustrations about his or her behavior may feel therapeutic and may even lead to positive responses from your loved ones, these negative messages could harm your divorce process or your child custody arrangements. They could even leave you vulnerable in other significant legal contexts.

When you post anything online, imagine a judge reading your words. Imagine how your words, especially devoid of context, could be perceived by that judge. Could your words make you look like an uncooperative co-parent? Could they make you look vicious, vengeful or otherwise “out for blood”? When you speak negatively about an ex online, especially if your divorce has yet to be finalized or if you have minor children together, you leave yourself open to a host of negative consequences.

We all need to vent about the actions of others from time to time. If you find yourself needing to vent about your ex, consider calling a trusted loved one or meeting that loved one for coffee in order to air your feelings. These actions are far less likely to get you in trouble than venting online.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Seek and Destroy: FAQs on Divorce, Revenge Porn and Social Media Slamming,” Don Schweitzer, March 6, 2015

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