by Sarah J. Merry / in Fatherhood
Divorce and Custody in a Social Media World
By Sarah J. Merry
Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer
It is no secret that texts, tweets, emails and Facebook posts have drastically changed the way the world communicates.
However, if you are anticipating a divorce or custody dispute in this text-happy world, it is important to slow down and remember that once you send that text you cannot get it back. Once you tweet or post your status, it can be seen by many people.
Social media most always makes an appearance in a divorce or custody case so be smart about what you put out there and keep a close eye on what others put out there.
Clean up your social media webpages
If you are considering or anticipating a divorce, take the time to go through your Facebook or your Twitter page and “clean it up.” Completely deleting your page or deactivating your page should also be considered.
Particularly if you are anticipating a custody dispute, every single move that you make will be subject to scrutiny – do not make it easier for your spouse to scrutinize you.
Review and monitor your family’s social media webpages
It is also wise to review your spouse’s and your children’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Review the pages for anything inappropriate or anything that would be relevant to the marital finances.
Print any pages that contain information that you feel may be relevant to a divorce. It will ultimately be your men’s divorce attorney’s job to determine what is and what is not relevant or useful.
Save all text messages and emails
All too often reference is made to the deleted text message wherein the husband’s wife told him that she will take the kids away from him, or that she will tell the cops that he beat her in order to get him out of the house. Save your text messages – all of them!
You will not know if your text messages with your children or with your wife will be relevant until your divorce over. Even positive natured text message exchanges should be saved.
If you have a text message wherein your wife tells you how wonderful you are with the children and how lucky they are to have you as a dad, then save it!
Your wife may seek an Order of Protection or immediate custody of the children the very next day. This exchange will prove useful.
Stop and read every text before you hit “send”
It is equally important to remember that the text messages you send may become relevant to your wife’s case.
Do not send your wife inflammatory text messages filled with curse words, threats, or derogatory statements. Although these texts may not become relevant to your wife’s case, the motto to follow is “better safe than sorry.”
Stop to read every text before you send it and take a “cool off” period prior to sending it, if necessary. Also, refrain from sending your children text messages or emails that contain negative comments about their mother, or inappropriate natured material. Again, better safe than sorry.
Above all else, always remember, text messages, emails, Facebook and Twitter posts are forever.
Be smart about what and how you communicate if you are anticipating or amidst a divorce or custody dispute.