Divorcing Dads and Social Media

Using social media as a divorced father

Think Twice Before Posting Information Online During Your Divorce

These days, it seems like we spend most of our lives online. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices are always at our fingertips, and we regularly communicate with friends and family through text messages, video chats, and emails. Along with this type of direct, person-to-person communication, many of us also use social media to connect with others and share updates about our lives.

Posting updates on Twitter or Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram, or commenting on other social networks might be a regular part of your daily life, but if you're going through a divorce, you might want to be careful about what you share. Here are some tips for using social media during the end of your marriage and beyond:

  • Don't complain about your ex - It's tempting to use social media to vent about your divorce to your friends. However, this is likely to increase tension and conflict between you and your ex. Even if you believe that posts are private, you and your ex may have some mutual friends, and she will most likely end up seeing what you post. This can make it harder to resolve issues related to child custody and visitation, and it will probably affect your ability to work together as co-parents going forward. Ultimately, it's best to avoid sharing any information about your ex or your divorce altogether.
  • Avoid oversharing - Anything you post online could potentially be used against you in court, so you'll want to be very careful about what you share. For example, pictures of you enjoying alcohol at a party with friends could be used to argue that you have a drinking problem and that your children would not be safe when they are with you. Any posts or pictures that imply that you have extra money to spend, such as discussions of a recent vacation or photos of a new TV and gaming system, could affect financial decisions such as the division of marital property. Even posting updates about your career on LinkedIn could impact matters such as child support and spousal support.
  • Be careful when using dating sites - While you may feel that you're ready to begin looking for a new partner, you should be aware that any information you post on dating apps or websites is publicly available. Even though it's common for people to stretch the truth in their dating profiles, you won't want to say anything that would reflect poorly on you as a parent. Claiming that you don't have any kids or saying that you'll have plenty of time for a new partner because you rarely see your children could be seen as an acknowledgment that you are not fully invested in being a parent. On the flip side, posting pictures of your children on dating sites could be used against you, demonstrating poor judgment by exposing your children's images to countless strangers and potential predators.
  • Change your passwords - It's common for married couples to share computers or use each other's devices, so you'll want to make sure your ex can't access any of your online accounts. Be sure to update your passwords for email, social networks, voicemail, and other accounts, using something that she won't be able to guess. This will ensure that you can maintain your privacy during this sensitive time.

In many cases, it can be best to avoid using social media as much as possible during your divorce. Since you can't control what other people post, you might even want to avoid putting yourself in any situation where you could be presented in a bad light; being tagged in someone else's photos of a wild party is no different from posting those photos yourself.

Even after your divorce is complete, you'll want to take care when posting updates or sharing photos. Since you need to maintain a professional relationship with your kids' mom, you should avoid posting disparaging information that could lead to conflict. As your kids get older, they'll become more and more active on social media, so you don't want them to come across any inappropriate details about your divorce or your dating life. By using social media the right way, you can maintain positive relationships with your ex, your friends, your family members, and your kids.

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