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Woman Faces Fine For Insulting Ex on FacebookEvery now and then a story comes along to highlight the reason why you shouldn’t be petty and vengeful when deciding to file for divorce. One of the most recent comes from Spain, where a woman posted photographs of herself on Facebook wearing a shirt that read, “My ex-husband’s an arsehole.” As a result of the decision, the 40-year-old woman was ordered to pay the sum of €1,000 ($1,387.90 per the most recent exchange rates).

‘Dignitary Tort’ 

The couple had finalized their divorce papers in 2005. The woman took the pictures and posted them in 2010. (Bitter much?) Towards the end of that year, her ex spotted them and filed suit for “dignitary tort.”

The Provincial Court of Madrid agreed that the phrase — “Mi exmarido es gilipollas” in its pre-translated form — was uncalled for and an attack on the man’s dignity. As a result, the woman was slapped with a much larger fine of €2,000 (more than $2,700 per exchange rates). She was also hit with a fine of €240 ($333.10). Upon appeal, the number was reduced to the first mentioned figure.

According to the Register, the defendant “earns just €700 ($972) a month, and is now seeking to pay off the debt in installments. “I started crying because I couldn’t believe it,” the woman said. “I don’t understand how the complaint could have ended in court. It’s only a T-shirt.”

Lessons Learned — Or Are They?

With judgments such as these, it’s a wonder Facebook is ever used to air grievances against an ex, even in jest. You would think that divorcees would eventually learn that everything that happens on social media can be taken out of context, manipulated, or misunderstood to cause trouble down the road, yet it seems like we hear stories such as these every week.

As Forbes contributor Jeff Landers notes: “Even if you’ve deleted or hidden previous posts or photos, it is possible that someone has taken a screenshot of your page while they existed or were public, or that a cached version is still retrievable through a search engine. Even Snapchat, a picture-sharing app that’s popular because pictures shared through it ‘disappear’ after a few seconds, is vulnerable to a quick screen shot by the photo’s recipient.”

In other words, let your divorce forms be the end of it and move on with life. Don’t continue to use social media to belittle someone years after they should matter to you.

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