Today’s technology driven world makes it easier than ever to reach out—and simultaneously can easily make you feel lost, alone and rudderless. How can you use social media constructively during a separation—to vent your feelings without jeopardizing your case; educate others who are in pain; and maybe even add an extra income stream?
For instance, if you’re in the middle of a divorce, you might be tempted to blog or create a podcast about it. The question is: should you?
Sharing intimate thoughts/experiences with the masses can be surprisingly cathartic, according to both anecdotes and emerging research on social media’s effects on psychology. Divorces are obviously emotional, even if you’re splitting with your partner amicably. Telling a group of people about your experiences can be therapeutic—meeting unmet needs for empathy—even if you don’t know your audience personally.
Using a blog or podcast can also meet needs for altruistic giving—by, for instance, helping someone in a similar position avoid a hassle that you tangled with or locating a shortcut to relief. For instance, maybe you were afraid to leave your spouse, because she was the breadwinner. You didn’t know how you’d make it on your own without her income. But you landed on your feet and developed new skills along the way. It feels good to teach others what you know.
Blogging or talking about your divorce in a public forum obviously is also rife with possible downsides. Say or write the wrong thing—even just one time, and even if you delete it shortly thereafter—and the consequences for your case could be very unpleasant. Your social media gaffe could cost you during child custody, alimony or child support negotiations. The court may cite your vindictive online insults or “oversharing” when dividing assets. Your partner might even be able to sue for libel or slander in extreme circumstances.
Before you blog or talk about your divorce experiences online in any capacity, seek the counsel of an experience family law attorney. Also consider the following (general) dos and don’ts:
- DO avoid talking directly about your partner’s shortcomings or embarrassing/overly intimate details about the relationship. Focus your conversation on you and your experiences.
- DO offer helpful resources to people who are going through the same thing.
- DON’T slander your partner by name-calling or placing blame.
- DON’T talk about the divorce proceedings in any detail—especially without consulting a qualified attorney about the ground rules.
Our Minnesota divorce lawyers are standing by to clarify any questions you have about your separation. We can help you obtain a fair resolution in your case and begin the process of opening a new chapter in your life.