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Is it a good idea to announce your divorce on social media?

Whether your surfing Instagram, hovering over Face Book or agonising over your chosen hashtag on Twitter, social media is here to stay, but is it a good idea to announce your impending divorce on all these platforms?

I work with many parents and families going through a divorce and I really, really impress on them the importance of what I call ‘divorce without damage.’ By that I mean divorcing with dignity and respect which I think is crucial for your children, but also in 5 or 10 years time you’ll want to look back at this stressful time in your life and not feel crippled with guilt, regret and embarrassment.

Not everyone is able to the join in with the ‘Divorce Selfie’ where people, including celebrities, share smiling, happy photos of themselves along with their divorce paperwork.

For most of us nowadays having a quick look at Facebook over a cup of coffee is part of our daily routine so it’s natural that at some point you’ll have to tell your friends about your divorce, but real friends and family need to hear it from you first. So I help the parents that I work with to plan it. Plan it so it’s done well. Plan it so you have clarity and confidence in what you want to say and in how you want to say it. Plan it for the sake of your children.

I often get rung up just for an hour as I offer a Skype, FaceTime or phone call called ‘Presenting a united front while telling your children you’re divorcing’ session which we plan together to make sure you ‘get it right’ and don’t traumatise your children by your decision to part. I also run face to face sessions here at my practice’ click here for more information or run a 3 hour workshop called ‘Divorce Step by Step‘ where we cover telling the children, finding a lawyer, sorting the finances, co-parenting well, and looking after yourself.

Be mindful that announcing your divorce out of the blue on social media can be fraught with controversy, vitriol, anger, confrontation and unpleasantness. One of the problems with social media is the need for people to feed their need for significance.

In the buzz of receiving attention and importance over a posting comes the lack of privacy, and after the instant buzz of attention dies off you are left with a very public revelation about your real life.

I remember writing a very heartfelt blog during my divorce that my son asked me to take down as he felt it was too personal. Which leads me to the 24 dollar question, ‘What is and what isn’t appropriate when it comes to social media?’

Also pause to ponder, ‘ Is announcing the end to your relationship and decision to divorce on social media a good or bad idea?’

It’s not up to me to tell you what to do but I think it’s a good idea to ponder what may happen if you do.

I suggested to one of my clients to ‘unfollow’ her husband on Facebook pretty quickly after they agreed to separate as he began posting lots of photos of him having fun on a holiday abroad, having a wonderful time in restaurants and appearing to ‘rub her nose in it’ by having fun with some members of her family who took his side after the decision.

I have written lots of articles around this whole topic of divorce simply click the drop down menu to explore them or click here

If you do decide to make an announcement on social media here are some tips to help.

Make it a joint statement

If your divorce is relatively amicable then a joint statement from both of you will allow both sides of your family and friends to become aware of the situation at the same time, and directly from you, rather than a third party which alleviates the ‘blame game.’ It will also show people that despite this major life decision your separation is relatively amicable.

Remain respectful

Remaining respectful towards your ex spouse at all times when it comes to any online announcement involving them. Although you may be feeling resentful, hurt, angry, or frightened its important to keep your dignity and avoid making an already stressful situation even worse. Don’t fan the fire. Don’t post when you’ve had a drink, don’t post when you are angry, don’t post late at night.

All so easy to do but never a good idea.

Don’t over share.

If you’ve decided to announce your divorce via social media, make sure you have thought it through properly and ask someone neutral to read it. Make it short. Don’t over share too much personal information at this highly charged time.

Remember once ‘it’s out there’ it’s out there.

Be mindful of your children’s feelings, be mindful of your mother’s.

Be mindful of your ex as you loved each other once or you wouldn’t have married or lived together, or had children together.

Be mindful that divorcing is a process NOT an event and get the help, support and professional advice you need to help you through this highly challenging and stressful time.

So what do you think ?

Is it a good idea to announce your divorce on social media?