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Is It Appropriate to Announce Your Divorce on Social Media?You have made the difficult decision to divorce your spouse. Now comes the uncomfortable step of telling others about your divorce. Some couples choose to save time by making a public announcement using social media. While the idea seems awkward, there are advantages to announcing your divorce on social media:

  • You can present a unified message with your spouse, explaining your decision.
  • You will have fewer individual conversations with others, breaking the news about your divorce.
  • You can set your expectations for privacy and whether you do not want others to talk to you about your divorce.

Before announcing your divorce on social media, you should consider whether doing so is appropriate in your situation.

Reasons It May Be Inappropriate

First, you should tell your family about your divorce before you make a social media announcement. Your children and other close family members deserve to hear the news from you personally and before other acquaintances because your divorce affects them on a more personal level. When considering whether a social media announcement is appropriate, you should ask yourself:


Should You Worry About the Privacy of Your Divorce Record?Many people do not realize that the court hearings for their divorce are part of the public record, meaning that anyone can access records on your divorce after it is completed. Everything you say during the hearings and the various documents that you submit is part of that public record. With records being digitized, it is more convenient for people to request and receive court records. If you are concerned about your privacy, you should discuss with your attorney whether you can seal your divorce record from the public.

What Is in the Record?

Your public divorce record does not include sensitive information such as your Social Security Number or bank account numbers. However, it may include details that are professionally damaging or personally embarrassing, such as:

  • Your financial history and debt record
  • Your business assets and interests
  • Admissions of substance abuse or mental health problems
  • Accusations of domestic violence or child abuse
  • Personal arguments between you and your spouse

All of this is information that could hurt you if someone such as a potential employer discovered it when conducting a background check on you.


Obtaining an Order of Protection Before Your DivorceAn abusive marriage is a horrible situation to live in but difficult for some victims to leave. There is a fear of how your spouse will respond when they discover that you are leaving. You may also worry about your ability to financially support yourself – both immediately after leaving your spouse and permanently if you divorce. Rather than leaving at the spur of a moment, it is better to plan ahead if you are not in immediate danger. Illinois offers several resources for domestic abuse victims, including an order of protection.

What Is an Order of Protection?

Also known as a restraining order, an order of protection is a court-issued document that prohibits an alleged abuser from contacting or harassing the victim. The definition of abuse in Illinois includes physical violence and psychological harassment and intimidation. You must fill out a form requesting your order of protection against your abuser, including:

  • Past incidents of abuse
  • Whether you previously contacted the police
  • Whether there were any witnesses to the abuse
  • Why you need an order of protection against your abuser

If the court believes that your allegations are credible, it will issue an emergency order of protection, which will go into effect immediately and last for three weeks. In that time, you can file for a plenary order of protection that would last for two years. During the hearing for the plenary order, the alleged abuser will have a chance to respond to the accusations. A court can also issue an interim order of protection for 30 days if the emergency order is going to expire before it can rule on the plenary order.


Why an Empty Nest Can Sometimes Lead to DivorceEmpty nest syndrome – a term used to describe grief after children have permanently left the family home – is something that most parents expect to deal with because it is healthy for the children to move out when they become adults. Unfortunately, some couples add divorce onto that grief. They could go from a full family household to living alone in just a few years. The timing of divorce after the children have left is often more than a coincidence. Empty nest syndrome can lead to divorce, even if the marriage has lasted for decades.

Prolonged Marriage

Some parents intentionally wait until their children are adults to end their marriage in order to spare their children from the effects of divorce, such as shared parenting time arrangements. However, a couple may not realize that their marriage is in danger until it is just the two of them at home. Parenting demanded most of their attention and was their strongest bond with each other. Without their parenting responsibilities, their marriage relies on their relationship with each other. Some spouses find that they no longer have much in common or have incompatible personalities. They face the difficult choice of whether to tolerate an unhappy marriage, try to fix their issues, or end the marriage.

New Perspective

Children leaving the home is a landmark event for parents that can make them reassess their lives. What will replace the purpose and satisfaction that they got from parenting? Who do they want to spend the rest of their lives with? A person’s needs can change once parenting is no longer the focus of their life. Some couples conclude that they are more likely to be happy outside of their marriage or by pursuing new relationships. They may want to end the marriage while they are young enough to start over and change themselves.


Does Marital Satisfaction Decline Naturally Over Time?The reason that a couple decides to divorce is often tied to marital satisfaction – if you are no longer satisfied with your marriage, you are more likely to want to end it. There is less consensus about whether marital satisfaction naturally declines over time or if something needs to create that dissatisfaction. People who believe in a natural decline in marital satisfaction may use terms such as “the honeymoon is over” and “seven-year itch”:

  • After the initial bliss of being married, spouses face adversity for the first time when they settle into their shared life; and
  • There is an idea that people become tired of their relationship with each other after seven years.

A recent study published in the journal “Social Psychology and Personality Science” tried to test whether a decline in marital satisfaction is common. The researchers differentiated their study by including couples of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, believing that the tendency to study white, middle-class couples may have skewed past results. Researchers followed couples for five years after their marriage, checking in each year to ask questions that helped them measure each couple’s level of marital satisfaction. There were several findings:

  1. Initial Satisfaction Set the Tone: As would be expected, most couples started their marriages with a moderate-to-high level of satisfaction. Sixty percent of the couples had a high level of satisfaction, 30 percent had a medium level, and 10 percent had a low level. In subsequent years, the satisfaction level remained fairly stable for couples who started with high and moderate satisfaction. Only those who started their marriages with low satisfaction showed a deep decline in marital satisfaction.
  2. Women Are More Likely to Become Dissatisfied: The category that had the steepest decline in marital satisfaction was women who started their marriage with low satisfaction. By contrast, men who started their marriage with low satisfaction tended to have an increase in marital satisfaction after three years.
  3. Economic Risk Has a Mixed Effect: The researchers looked at couples who were most likely to struggle with socioeconomic issues to see whether they had a lower rate of marital satisfaction. They found that it had little effect on men, but women were more likely to start a marriage with low satisfaction if they faced economic hardship.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Every couple that gets divorced has its own reason, but all must follow the same divorce process and laws. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will guide you through all the necessary steps in getting a divorce. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

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