Social media is such a pervasive and invasive part of our lives these days, that it can be difficult to remember a time that it wasn’t. California residents will be familiar with how quickly the salacious details of a celebrity divorce enter into the mainstream, and the damage that this can cause professionally and personally. Many people do not consider how far reaching the consequences of their own injudicious use of social media may be.

While the temptation to publicly denounce a soon-to-be ex-spouse may be strong, it may actually have the effect of making one look unreasonable, especially if the spouse maintains his or her silence. Alternatively, he or she may reveal some details which one would prefer to keep private. Such an exchange of insults may even become the evidence in a potential libel action, if either party feels that his or her professional reputation may be suffering as a result. On a more personal level, it could even be seen as an attempt to turn parents and children against each other.

Even if your estranged spouse is no longer able to see what you post about him or her, you may still have friends in common who do. Whether innocently or deliberately, the comments and photos can find their way to the other person by circuitous routes. It is not only the things that directly relate to the estranged spouse that may be of interest to him or her. A new partner, evidence of extravagant spending or plans to start a new life with one’s children in another state or country are all things which may affect the outcome of divorce negotiations.

For most California residents, one’s own experiences do not usually come close to the drama of a celebrity divorce. Even so, exercising caution and restraint in one’s interactions on social media is advisable during divorce proceedings. If one has concerns about the part that social media is playing in his or her divorce then seeking appropriate advice on the legal aspects can help to reassure and to keep one on the right side of the law.

Source: goodmenproject.com, “How Not to Commit Social Media Suicide During Your Divorce“, March 27, 2017