Divorce, Social Media and Technology. A whole new world.
Siri Is Listening! Technology And Social Media Can Impact Your Divorce!
In the modern technological era where we are constantly surrounded by social media and 24/7 communication, it should come as no surprise that the technology at your fingertips could have a very real impact on your divorce case. Our firm has some tips for you to consider if you are contemplating going through a divorce proceedings in this techy society.
Divorce And Technology. Some Important Social Media Tips To Consider
- First, remember to change passwords to all financial accounts, email accounts, and any other personal accounts that your former spouse should no longer be able to access freely without your permission. Even in the most amicable of divorces one miscommunication can lead to a very ugly court battle. A divorce means a physical and emotional split, so be sure that the separation extends to your technology as well. Change those passwords even if your spouse never had access to them in the first place. Better to be safe than sorry. Keep the new passwords in a location where only you have access.
- Second, be aware that any conversation you have in writing through email or text messaging can be submitted as evidence to make a case against you in favor of your spouse. Divorce tends to bring the worst out in people and it is likely that your relationship has not been at its best for quite some time if your solution is to proceed with a divorce. Do not put your anger in writing. Use the conveniences of technology to take your time in responding to your spouse. Re-read and revise your replies before hitting the send button to avoid saying something regrettable. Ask yourself, would you be comfortable with your children, whether actual or figurative, reading over your shoulder. If the answer is no, you probably should not send the message. A quick “anger filled” response is not worth it as it can negatively affect the results in Court.
- Third, be mindful that the highway express pass used for toll travel tracks your progress on the road. If you do not want your travel becoming evidence in court skip the shortcuts. It is also not advisable that you leave your EZ-pass at home while continuing to use the express lane. The notice in the mail you receive as a consequence arrives as a result of the booth taking your picture and documenting the time the toll went unpaid. The best option, just be honest whether about work, play or even new significant others; otherwise, stay off the expressway.
- Forth, social media is public no matter how high of a privacy setting that you have selected. Act like you recognize what that means. Remember that while you were a couple, you and your spouse shared friends and acquaintances. Some friends may choose a side; others might try to maintain a friendship with both parties. If possible, while going through a divorce avoid having a presence on social media. If for some reason your Facebook page needs a daily entry take a pause before updating your status. The last thing your attorney wants is to explain to the court that you are absolutely a fit parent and should be permitted fifty-fifty timesharing in the face of your latest social media post with photographic evidence your new single life leads quite the party atmosphere.
- Fifth, stay away from blogging. Don’t vent your frustrations about your spouse, or your case for the world to read. While it may be cathartic to express yourself in a public journal, it can give the impression that you aren’t taking the court proceedings seriously. Most Judges believe that domestic issues should be kept inside the Courtroom and not broadcasted to the entire world. The courts want civil co-parents if children are involved, and smearing a spouse or ex on a blog is not good form.
- Lastly, unplug. Technology continually advances. Keep your conversations confidential. Remember the terms and conditions that you clicked through when setting up your new phone. Using Siri or Google voice commands means your phone is always listening. When you are not using technology, simply turn it off lest something unfortunate occurs and your ex ends up hearing a conversation you never intended him or her to be a party to.
Thanks to Paralegal, Stephanie Brown, for all her help with writing this article on Divorce, technology and Social Media!
Great job Stephanie!
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.