The end of a marriage or relationship can mean bitter and angry feelings. Even when the ending is mutually agreed on, even amiable, there are probably some grievances. Social media is an outlet for support from friends and family in difficult times as well as a tempting place to air those grievances. So what if your spouse is bad-mouthing you on the Internet?

Obviously, your first goal should be to defuse the situation. You’re already working with your spouse on a DIYvorce, so continue those lines of communication, being sure to explain how trashing you online isn’t going to help move you two toward finalizing your divorce.

If that doesn’t work, and you want to consider the legal aspects, then you need to consider your situation. Is there a child custody aspect to your divorce? If not, the legal system is mainly interested in what sort of damage your spouse is trying to do. If, for example, your spouse is commenting that he or she thinks you gave up on marriage too soon, a divorce court probably won’t take any action. On the other hand, if your spouse is intentionally damaging your reputation with the specific intention of harming your business interests, the divorce court might consider issuing an order preventing either you or your spouse (or both of you) from discussing the divorce proceedings on social media.

If there is a custody action aspect to your divorce, using the internet to talk badly about your spouse can damage your case. If custody is left to the court, it makes its determination based on the child’s best interest. Two factors that a court will weigh heavily are whether each parent has demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the other parent, as well as whether each parent has made efforts to undermine the relationship between the child and the other parent. This is especially true when the child(ren) are old enough to use social media and could easily see one parent’s negative messages. To the court, that’s an attempt by one parent to undermine the relationship between the other parent and the child. Even for children not old enough to see social media, the context and content of the messages could easily be interpreted by the court as an unwillingness to cooperate or work with the other parent.

You don’t want to fight any more, or at least any longer. But if your spouse is trashing you online, talk to your DIYvorce support staff. They can help you sort out a situation they’ve seen before.


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