Divorce presents several challenges for spouses. Negotiations around asset division, alimony or who gets custody of the children can prevent people from seeing other important but less-pressing issues.

Often, spouses may post on social media to blow off steam or garner support from their friends and family during a trying time. Though these actions may seem harmless, spouses going through a divorce should carefully consider the implications before posting. Inflammatory social media posts may compromise one’s character in the eyes of the court.

Follow these 5 social media rules

The best way to avoid making public gaffes with consequences for a person’s divorce is to refrain from posting entirely. However, social media provides a valuable support network for many people — often vital when going through a divorce. The following rules can help spouses refrain from posting damaging content:

  1. No insults: People who post long-winded emotional rants about an “abusive” spouse may find some temporary relief and support. If any of these statements are untrue, however, the poster risks a libel suit. Erratic or stream-of-consciousness posts may even compromise one’s bid for child custody.
  2. No location posting or “checking in”: Some spouses turn violent during a divorce, making it unsafe to publicize one’s current location.
  3. Separate social circles: Unfriending, unfollowing or blocking a spouse may prevent them from seeing a post directly, but friends of that spouse may still share them. Couples who have known each other for decades will have a difficult time separating their social circles entirely.
  4. Be mindful of activities made public: If one’s spouse accuses them of cheating, their lawyer may use posts about late-night activities or pictures with friends as evidence of infidelity.
  5. Temporarily close accounts: The easiest and most effective way to prevent posting compromising content on social media is to close one’s accounts until the divorce is final.

Do not let social media dictate the divorce agreement

Those with questions about other activities that might compromise one’s divorce can contact a local lawyer. An attorney familiar with California’s divorce law can assess one’s case, draft divorce agreements and review social media for problematic posts.