Keeping it cool

It is so well-known that it is almost cliché that divorce is one of the most stressful experiences a person can undergo. This is because something is being ripped apart that was bonded together on every level. Both parties end up with really raw wounds and feeling vulnerable because their life has so drastically changed. Now, it is human nature to want to attack or hurt the other party at times in this process and sometimes that comes out in the courtroom (see my prior post on this). Other times, though, one of the parties does not even realize they are raising the heat of the divorce.

Today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (and I suppose some folks still use MySpace) provides a ton of information to total strangers. In this oddly electronically exhibitionist environment, many people post or tweet comments about their soon to be ex-spouse without even considering the ramifications. At the most simple level, those comments are very capable of getting back to the estranged wife or husband and just fueling the hurt and anger. The more hurt and anger that exists in the divorce context, the less likely contested matters will get resolved. Now, that is fine with most lawyers because it insures a steady supply of work and income. However, it harms both parties because of the expense and because the wounds are made deeper rather than healing.

On the more complex level, your posts and tweets can be used as evidence in a divorce hearing. They can be introduced because they are an admission by the party that made the comment. All the attorney has to do is authentic the post or tweet by asking you on the stand, “Do you recognize this comment? Did you make this comment?” and you are toast. So, resist the urge to express yourself. Return temporarily to the olden days where people got their gossip the old-fashioned way through pure speculation rather than providing it directly with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (sorry MySpace, I know no one who uses you). Keep the temperature of the divorce cool so that the damage is minimized and the chance of healing optimized.

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One Response to Keeping it cool

  1. It’s amazing how much social media is being used in family law. In Australia, it’s estimated that photos/comments from social media are being used to discredit people in 20% of Family Court proceedings. In the UK, a spouse’s behaviour on Facebook is now cited in a third of UK divorces in which unreasonable behaviour was a factor. Unfortunately, social media’s impact on family law does not stop there – as it’s also now a major tool for divorce-related bullying (e.g. continuing communication, posting nasty messages, hacking accounts, etc).

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