Dos and Don’ts of social media when going through a divorce

It can be tempting to air our feelings or frustrations on social media when going through a divorce – but remember: this information will be available to a court and could have bearing on any outcome.

DO change your passwords:

Take ownership of any social media accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, music streaming services and change the passwords of your email accounts to ensure your ex-partner does not have access.

Even if you know your partner’s passwords, do not log into their accounts! Everyone has a right to privacy and unauthorised access to your ex-partner’s computer may be breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

DO check your privacy settings:

Make sure that if you do post, however innocently, only your friends list sees it and you cannot be tagged into any posts without your permission.

DO turn off location tracking:

It’s a ‘feature’ of more apps than you might realise. This could be embarrassing or hurtful and can provide your ex-partner with your exact location from a stalking / abuse perspective. 

DO follow support organisations:

There are lots of organisations and charities who can offer free guidance and support.

Don’t bad mouth your ex-partner online:

And remind your friends and family not to post negative comments too. Comments can play a big part in proceedings and if you have children they could read and learn more than you’d like them to.

Don’t share any personal data about your partner:

As you may breach data protection laws. This includes intimate and sensitive details of the relationship.

Don’t chat about court proceedings, children or financial information:

By doing so you could be in breach of legislation which could be classed as a serious offence and anything you share can and could be used against you by the other party. 

Don’t post pictures of the children you share:

This comes up time and time again in proceedings. Send any photos directly, not on a public platform, especially if you are aware of your partner’s objections to posting pictures online.  

Don’t share a new romance online:

As well as being potentially hurtful, if proceedings have not yet started adultery could now be cited as a reason on the petition. 

Any pictures of you and your new beau together could evidence possible habitation and have a big effect on any financial settlements and child arrangements.

Don’t ‘stalk’ your partner on social media: Following your ex on social media can be exhausting, upsetting and often fruitless. Give yourself some time to rest and recover.

Written by Jane Charlton,
legal director at Shakespeare Martineau in Milton Keynes