When a relationship broke down in pre-electronic times, abuse
may have taken the form of inappropriate telephone calls or
letters. We then moved onto the era of texts and emails, but
usually these communications were only between the parties
Now, with the use of social media, including platforms such as
Facebook and Twitter, abuse by a bitter ex can not only be directed
at the other party, but also shared with a huge network of people -
namely the 200 or so "friends" on the persons Facebook
account. These large networks can allow inappropriate
communications to go "viral" or spread very quickly and
there is little anyone can do to control it.
This raises the question as to whether, in the context of a
relationship; you need to consider how you and your significant
other may agree to behave, or more importantly, how you may
not behave if your relationship breaks down.
These days with people marrying later in life and forming
subsequent relationships when they may have already built up
significant assets, they are choosing to address what they might
protect and what they might share in the event of their
relationship breaking down. These are commonly known as
"Contracting Out Agreements" or "Pre-Nuptial
Many people are now also giving consideration not only to the
division of property on the breakdown of a relationship, but
protocols for what might, or might not, be shared on social
It is not just about using social media to post inappropriate or
abusive messages. In the full (and often) first flush of a
relationship, recordings of an "intimate" nature may have
been made. However, in the context of a bitter breakup these videos
or photos could be posted on social media by a resentful ex, or the
threat to do so may be made.
There is no guarantee that a social media clause in an agreement
is going to stop one of the parties being nasty, or vindictive,
particularly in the circumstances of a bitter breakup. However, by
addressing it in an agreement at the outset, it may significantly
reduce the risk of you having something published to the outside
world that you never intended to be shared with them.
If you would like more advice or information, please contact our
friendly relationships team for a confidential discussion. They can
help you with all areas of relationships and separation including
Contracting Out or Pre-Nuptial Agreements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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