January 15, 2014

Top 5 Rules for Facebook in Divorce

Categories: Divorce

Facebook BeachfrontFacebook is such a handy way to communicate what is going on in your life. It is a quick way to communicate life changes, events, accomplishments and information to people. And then people let you know they hear your news and can respond with a comment or message to you publically or privately or simply click “Like.” You know they heard your news! And chances are, you and your spouse are “Friends” of each other’s Facebook pages.

So rather than telling the 200+ people you know individually that you are getting a divorce, whether by your choice or not, you can tell it once. CONVENIENT! PAIN-LESS! DONE!

Oh, not so fast…

So what does it mean when someone “Likes” your status update? Does that mean that your friend, mutual to you and your spouse, is happy for you? Are they loyal to you and not your spouse by clicking “Like?” Does your spouse find out you posted it because a friend comments on your status and types in your spouse’s name and then he or she sees all the comments and the fact that you have 50 “Likes?” Are your kids “Friends” of yours or your spouse? You know how the social network bleeds information. Do you post status updates about your divorce progress on Facebook?

So what are some helpful rules to keep in mind when you are thinking Facebook and divorce? Because, what you say on Facebook will eventually get back to your spouse! Here are the Top 5 rules for Facebook in divorce:

1. Ask first. If you want to tell people via Facebook that you are getting a divorce, ask your spouse if he or she is okay with you posting that.
2. Have your spouse approve the message before posting. Once it is out there, you really can’t take it back.
3. Be up front with your friends. Tell your friends that you do not want them to “Like” the post, it is only for informational purposes and comments can be made privately.
4. Be kind in what you say. Don’t trash your spouse. And don’t post every step of progress in the divorce on your Facebook page.
5. Don’t post it on Facebook at all. Tell people directly in person, by phone or email. (Remember group email and “reply all”–not good)

You are in charge of what information you share and maintaining a respectful divorce with your spouse. What you think is a “no big deal” can actually lead to a lot of conflict in divorce that could have been so easily prevented.  Ask yourself how you would feel if the message was posted about you. So think twice, and maybe thrice before you hit “Post.”

Louise LivesayABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise Livesay
Founder, Livesay Law Office

Louise Livesay, JD is known for her ability to problem-solve on behalf of her clients in a way that maximizes the best outcome for the entire family. Understanding that most families facing divorce or uncoupling want to have effective co-parenting relationships and be treated with respect and feel heard during the process, she has created a practice focused on fostering healthy families as they transition to a new configuration through non-adversarial methods, such as the Collaborative Process and Mediation. Learn more at www.CollaborativeLawMn.com

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