Divorce in the age of Facebook

FBThis post could also be called Things I’ve learned the Hard Way #8,546: Be careful about what you put online.

Since I am a writer, everything  I had ever published or posted was combed through, taken out of context, and literally used against me in court during my divorce. An innocuous Facebook post asking for local babysitter referrals was presented in our custody battle as evidence that I would “ask strangers for information about other strangers who I would leave my children with. Therefore, making me an irresponsible and unfit parent.”

Yep, that actually happened. It was ugly.

In general, the details of our breakup weren’t shared online.  He’s not even on FB. Consider, though, the implications of a status update of “still trapped in a loveless marriage” or “he cheated again.”  Note: for what it’s worth, neither of those things were the reason we split up, I’ve kept that offline on purpose and it will stay that way forever.

I totally understand the urge to vent. To post the ugly truth for all to see, especially when you are the one who has been wronged. Venting is awesome and can be incredibly therapeutic–especially when online friends are available around the clock to validate and commiserate with you.

But these conversations should be had in person, off the record, in a dark alley somewhere. Far away from Facebook and well out of earshot of the kiddos.

Think before you post. Ask yourself, “what is this going to look like to a judge, or even worse, my children who may discover these posts someday?”

It’s a slippery slope. It’s tempting to overcompensate and put  your own “highlight reel” on Facebook for the world to see.  My advice? Don’t post anything until the dust settles, when you can think clearly about what you want to share and with whom. It’s important to strike a balance that both parties are okay with.

A good follow-up read is this NYT article “Facebook’s Last Taboo: the unhappy marriage.

 

On Raising a Moral Child

I don’t want to get too far down the rabbit hole with things that just pertain to single parenting. What a boring and sad blog this would be, right?

I recently read this NYT article and it got me thinking about what’s really important when it comes to your child becoming a do-gooder as a grown up. And also, someone that doesn’t end up in jail. Of all of the things I hope to pass on to my kiddos, it’s to be generous. And there are some good academic-style references in this article.

What kind of values to you hope to instill in your kids? And how do you do that?

Out of the ashes, a new blog!

WC

A couple of months ago, my website singlemomsmarts.com died. Dead. Unrecoverable. While it was a blog of sorts in the beginning, I used it mostly to promote stuff I had written for publications and websites abut single parenting, early childhood, health, lifestyle and sometimes even travel. So when my IT team (read: my brother) let me know what happened, I decided that I would go back to basics. No fancy designs or custom wire frames this time–just a girl and her blog. It makes it easier to manage and update this way.

My purpose and intent with this site remains the same, though. I hope that through sharing my experiences as a once married, then divorced, and now not-so-single mom, I can help others get through it.

I’m often asked to share advice for those experience separation or divorce. It’s pretty simple: Churchill was right, if you are going through hell, just keep going.