August 5, 2013

It now seems like Americans fall into two categories in respect to social media. One set believes that social media affects their communication in such negative ways that they simply choose not to engage in its use. The other camp seems to use social media with great regularity. Both approaches are understandable, as there are both significant benefits and significant pitfalls associated with the use of social media.

When individuals are navigating divorce proceedings, social media can be similarly beneficial or harmful, depending on how each person chooses to use these communication tools. On the one hand, social media use can be tracked by opposing legal counsel and used against a person in court. This phenomenon has led many family law attorneys to counsel their clients to shut down their social media accounts for the remainder of the process.

However, if individuals use social media responsibly, it can be a tool for healing during divorce. A recent study published by experts at UCSC and Lancaster University indicates that much of Americans’ lives are captured on the social media accounts of individuals who access them regularly. Choosing to either keep reminders of a former spouse on social media accounts or to delete all memories can be a tough emotional choice to make. However, once that choice is made, it can be cathartic to either delete photos and other reminders or make peace with their continued presence.

No matter what route you choose, if you are navigating a divorce you must either shut down your social media accounts or use them responsibly as you move forward. Whatever choices you make can either hurt you or truly help you in your legal and emotional processes.

Source: Huffington Post, “In Your Facebook! The Role of Social Media in Making Breaking Up Both Harder and Easier,” Susan Pease Gadoua, July 29, 2013

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