Facebook is a great platform for sharing family photos, connecting with old friends and watching hours of cat videos. How do you use it when things aren’t perfect, though? Like when you’re going through a divorce?

To Facebook or not to Facebook

Even though social media has become increasingly integrated into our daily lives, you always have the choice to log off. If you’re going through a particularly tricky divorce, maybe it’s best to opt out for a while. If you think Facebook isn’t good for your mental health right now or you might end up saying something you shouldn’t, remember it will all still be there when you decide you’re ready to sign back on.

Announcing your divorce

Though it’s certainly not a requirement, some people decide to tell everyone about their divorce at once through a Facebook post. This can be effective, but also very tricky. If you decide to make a post, the best practice is to keep is somber, succinct and respectful.

Social media don’ts

Don’t put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t say in person to your ex or their lawyer. Emails, texts and social media activity are there forever, even when you delete them. They can also be used as evidence in court. Remember that it’s not just your friends who can see your posts, but hundreds of friends of your friends.

Don’t air out any dirty laundry online. However tempting it may be to trash your ex on Facebook, it’s not worth the support you might get. It can add to tensions and invites hundreds of your closest acquaintances into your divorce. Especially if you have kids, putting your personal conflicts in such a public setting is not a good idea.

Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with others, but it’s tricky to navigate in emotionally charged situations like divorce. With divorce looking on the horizon, it might be wise to eschew social networking sites and choose to have private, face-to-face conversations when necessary. Putting heated, negative comments into a post, status update or even email can have disastrous effects on the course of your divorce.