Family Law Attorneys Discourage Electronic Communication for Divorcing Couples
Electronic surveillance seems to be the rule these days when it comes to politics. Whether it’s the Russians, WikiLeaks, or the CIA, intelligence groups around the world appear intent upon finding those tell-tale electronic threads that can weaken and embarrass. As one divorce attorney recently quipped, “A disgruntled spouse can teach the CIA a thing or two.”
Indeed, according to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a dramatic 97 percent of members have seen an increase in divorce evidence being taken from smartphones and other wireless devices during the past few years. Many divorce attorneys caution that when it comes to texting, email, and social media, a spouse can be his or her own worst enemy.
Cell Phones Have Replaced Private Investigators
Years ago, a disgruntled spouse sometimes hired a private investigator (“PI”) to trail the other marriage partner. The PI often took photos from bushes and other hiding places. Now, all too many spouses put their private lives online for virtually anyone to come across. This evidence can be mined and used in a subsequent divorce proceeding, say legal experts.
Anyone Contemplating a Divorce Should Keep Miranda in Mind
In any TV episode of Law and Order, or Cops, viewers hear the familiar Miranda warning, “Anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law ….” If a person has even a passing thought that a divorce proceeding may be in his or her future, it would be good to follow that same Miranda rule. Anything you say or do online can come back to haunt you.
A Few Helpful Rules
Anyone going through a divorce should consider at least the following rules when it comes to texting, email, and social media:
- Live as if every electronic communication you make will be entered into evidence in your divorce proceeding. If you want the court to see street language and vulgarity, then use it in your texting and messaging. Otherwise, never use it.
- If you are angry, close the lid of your laptop. Avoid hitting the “send” button. As they say, “sleep on it.” If the anger still needs to be communicated tomorrow, then do it tomorrow, but not tonight!
- If you’ve had a couple glasses of wine or several cocktails, put your laptop or tablet down; don’t text or send an email.
- You need not give up texting, email, or social media as long as you also don’t give up your common sense.
Opposing Counsel Loves Your Tendency To Flame on About Your Spouse
One thing is definitely true: The attorney representing your spouse loves your reckless use of social media, your post about how the guy or gal you’re with is better than your spouse, your message about the wild party you’re currently attending, or the photo showing your glazed and intoxicated expression taken by a friend. It’s all made his or her job that much easier. Exercise discretion. It will pay off in the long run.
Divorce is Serious Business; Get Skilled, Serious Representation
If you are contemplating a divorce – or if you think you’re spouse is seeking to dissolve your marriage – you owe it to yourself to retain skilled legal counsel to represent your interests. This isn’t a time to go it alone. Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S. has more than 30 years of combined experience providing quality family law services to individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest. We can be as aggressive as is necessary. If there’s a simple solution, that’s our first choice. We work closely with you to resolve matters quickly and economically. Contact us on the web, or call our office at 253-272-2997.