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The dos and don'ts of online behavior after filing for divorce

We live in a digital world where we can access information as quickly as we can type it into a search on our computers or smartphones. Further, thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we can find an extraordinary amount of information on just about anyone with a social media account in a matter of seconds.

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However, all this digital data can come back to haunt a person who is going through a divorce, as noted in this Forbes article. If you are currently going through a divorce, there are some important things you should keep in mind when you get online.

Things you should do in this situation include:

  • Do change your password for social media sites, email accounts and other non-financial sites to keep your ex from accessing them without your permission.
  • Do take the time to understand website privacy settings to avoid sharing or sending information to people unintentionally.
  • Do try and be polite in online exchanges. Say only the things online that you would also say to someone in person and wouldn't mind having on the record indefinitely.
  • Do keep an eye out for status updates by an ex regarding promotions, significant purchases and vacations.
  • Do pay attention to an ex's check-ins to bars, restaurants and other locations if he or she is supposed to be taking care of the children during that time.

Alternatively, there are things you should avoid doing during a divorce.

  • Don't hack into an ex's accounts to get evidence as you could wind up facing criminal charges.
  • Don't use sites like Facebook to try and smear an ex's reputation, as it could end up making you look bad.
  • Don't assume that information you share on these sites will always be kept private.
  • Don't post explicit photos of your ex or yourself.
  • Don't brag about having a lot of money if you aren't keeping up with spousal or child support.

It can be very difficult to make rational, thought-out decisions when you are dealing with the devastation of a divorce, especially when it seems so easy to vent to and seek approval from people online. However, taking some time to really think about your digital impression and interactions can save you a lot of heartache and pain as you navigate the divorce process.

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