High-Profile Cases

Should you Be Announcing Your Divorce on Twitter or Instagram?

Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Decades ago, divorce was not necessarily something to be proud of.  The social conventions of the early- to mid-century arguably viewed divorced people as having a blight on their reputation, or even on their character. Of course nowadays, divorce is much more common, and certainly seems to have much less stigma or shame related to it.

One of the ramifications of this seeming societal acceptance, is that people have taken to actually celebrating their freedom from the bonds of matrimony.  As we wrote in a recent Blog, some people are having “Divorce Parties“.

Another modern development is the “divorce announcement” on social media.   Far from hiding in shame over a decision to divorce, some couples are trumpeting the fact to their followers and the public.  As described in a recent article, celebrities have been doing this for years.

It started back in 2014 with the “conscious uncoupling” of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and former Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.  Now it’s downright common for couples in the entertainment spotlight to formally announce their separations and divorces to the world. They use social media to issue carefully-worded posts explaining their decision; this is invariably followed by a statement of their continuing fondness or love for each other, and an ongoing commitment to any children they have together.  Somewhat ironically, these public declarations are usually capped off with a plea for privacy.

The most recent of the rich-and-famous to post their divorce news this way are actors Sofia Vergara and her soon-to-be-Ex husband Joe Manganiello, as well as musical entertainer Britney Spears and her husband of one year, Sam Asghari.

Canadian celebrities and influencers are getting in on the trend as well.  As we wrote recently in the Blog “Justin and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau Decide to Split – And Do It the Right Way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau made a joint announcement on Instagram that they were separating after 18 years of marriage.  Back in 2021 the Oscar-nominated Canadian actor Elliot Page, who had roles in the films JunoInception, and The Umbrella Academy announced his split from Emma Portner on social media after only three years.

This phenomenon has drifted over to social media “influencers” as well.  They might not have the same widespread public appeal, but seem to have the same need to share their news – with some of them even finding a way to monetize it.  While celebrity divorce announcements tend to ask for privacy from fans, social media influencers seem to use their breakups and divorces as a launching pad to captivate their followers.  Sometimes they do this strategically, by gradually rolling out what’s been termed a “soft launch” of their divorce. Like a phoenix from the ashes, they then use their post-split status to fine-tune their branding with a so-called personal growth “re-launch”.

That’s what’s called “making lemonade from lemons”.  What are your thoughts?

Stay in Touch

Keep learning about the latest issues in Ontario family law! Subscribe to our newsletter, have our latest articles delivered to your inbox, or listen to our Podcast Family Law Now.

Be sure to find out more about the "new normal", by visiting our Covid-19 and Divorce Information Centre.

About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.