Ending your marriage is not an easy decision. You may struggle with the decision for weeks, months or even years before you decide to file for divorce. It may take even more time to get used to the decision. That’s only your decision. Now, you must tell the other people in your life.
With today’s world of “life online,” it can feel like a daunting task. Even changing your relationship status on your profile can cause anxiety. Should you share the news on social media? If so, how?
Weigh the pros and cons before you make an announcement online
Announcing your divorce online is a personal decision. Like any other, you should weigh the pros and cons based on your individual situation.
For example, sharing may mean you only need to say it once to a large group. You won’t need to explain why your relationship status changed to everyone who asks. On the flip side, if you are not someone who shares many details of their personal life online, do you want to start now?
What about your relationship with your spouse? Consider their reaction. Consider their personality. Will making an announcement set the stage for cooperation in divorce or “set them off” and make things worse?
Make it an announcement, not a rant
If you decide that you want to share the news, here are a few tips:
- Think before you post: Social media can be helpful or harmful to your situation. You don’t want to write on impulse and regret it later. Take time to prepare your post. Write it. Edit it. Ask someone to review it whom you trust can give an honest, unbiased opinion.
- Get on the same page: You may want to consider involving your spouse. You can ask them to read the post, get their permission to tag them on it or make a joint announcement. This can help set the stage for cooperation in the divorce, where you will have to make some tough decisions.
- Make it succinct: This is a personal announcement on a public forum. Share the news of the divorce not the details of your relationship. Be cognizant of the fact that this is a written record that is easy for others to share. Anyone could see the post, including the court.
- Stay positive and respectful: Social media is the wrong place to vent frustration. For the same reasons you want to keep it succinct, you want to keep it professional. Disparaging your spouse might feel good, but it can change others’ opinions of you or come back to bite you in court.
- Time your announcement: Don’t make your social media network the first people you tell. Talk to children or close family members first, so they don’t hear the news second-hand.
- Stay vigilant: Unless you are signing off all social media channels for the entirety of your divorce, this isn’t the first post that could affect it. Give thought to every status, comment, picture, tweet or snap that you upload.
Rarely do divorce attorneys advise clients to take a page from the celebrity book. Social media is a rare exception. Celebrities and other public figures have teams of professionals who help them protect their image. Here are a few examples of how celebrities or public figures made their announcements online.