The 21st Century Divorce

Communicating with your former (or soon-to be former) spouse can be difficult.  Emotions and disputes often make civil conversations difficult.  However, it’s easier than ever to communicate without ever even speaking.  Between email, social media and texting, we can now have a relationship or dialogue with pretty much anyone and never have to see them in person.  On the reverse side of that, emails, social media and texts can be used to enhance or detract from your case in a divorce or custody battle.

Attorney Clarissa Finnell, a seasoned attorney who practices exclusively in the area of family law, explains that using media as a tool has become prevalent in her family law cases.  Finnell explains, “Often times, a client comes in with emails or text messages to be submitted to the court to prove the spouse participating in inappropriate behavior, infidelity etc.”  However, Finnell also warns that this very same documentation can also be used against the client.  Finnell gives several tips on how to use technology in your favor for your divorce or custody dispute.

  • Limit communication. Do not engage in or reply to any other communication unless it’s directly related to the children.  Communication should be limited to information about children’s well-being, parenting time, education etc.  This includes texts, emails and online private messages.
  • Communication is important.  While limiting communication is important, it’s also important not to withhold child-related information.
  • Communicate via documented channels.  Phone calls are hard to admit in a court.  Emails and texts are much easier to submit to the court.  Establish a preferred method to communicate with your ex-spouse and keep all communications, when possible, through this method.
  • Save any emails, texts, Facebook posts or any other information you would like to submit to the court, but keep in mind that your ex-spouse can do the same.  This is why it is important to abstain from any communication that isn’t informational or about the children.
  • Do not post anything online that you wouldn’t want the court to see.  Anything you post online including your status updates, pictures and even jobs you apply for can be used in court.  This also includes pictures of your children.
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