Texting while divorcing, or posting on FB, Twitter or other social media platform, are all things you should not do while in the middle of a divorce. Airing your thoughts, frustrations, and misery on social platforms can come back to haunt you later. Anything you put out there can and will be used against you in court.
Texts and Social Media Posts are Easily Misinterpreted
As for texting, you may think you are sending your ex, or soon-to-be ex, a clever message. But humor and sarcasm are easily misconstrued and misunderstood in the context of a text or social media post. Your tone of voice or the smile on your face does not transmit. Not even posting LOL can help.
For example, you may sarcastically text, “Of course I don’t care if you raise the kids and move to Tahiti. I’m fine with that.” What you really mean is you would never, ever agree that. Of course you want to have a good relationship with the children and see them as often as possible, but you may find yourself on the witness stand, having to explain the flamboyant and flip, “I don’t care” text message you sent when you were upset.
Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts are Not Private
A lot of people think that their communications, whether it’s text or email, are going to stay private. If there is an allegation of fault in the breakup of the marriage, or an issue of conservatorship, or whether supervised visitation is needed, all of those communications will potentially come in front of the judge. They are required to be produced in response to a proper discovery request from your spouse’s lawyer.
Tips for When You Must Text
In this age of technology, there are times when texting is necessary. If so, follow these tips:
- Do not call your spouse an insulting name in a text, use a curse word, or send the “poop” emoji. The same holds true for how you have your spouse set up in your contacts, never under a derogatory name or an insulting emoji.
- Do not send an angry text. Pause when agitated.
- Do not dredge up the past for a text discussion. You will not win the argument that you haven’t been able to win throughout your marriage.
- Have a trusted friend or advisor, or your attorney, review your text before you send it if you insist on sending it.
- Remember, when the Judge orders you to use Our Family Wizard or AppClose or other co-parenting program, the Judge, the attorneys and the custody evaluator can all see what you communicate. So, if you don’t want it read in front of the Judge or jury, don’t send it.
- Stay current, stay in the moment, address the immediate issue, but don’t lecture, preach, or try to tell them what to do. Even if your intentions are good, it may make you appear controlling and as though you are trying to manage the entire situation, which is not your job. Your job is to raise your child.