Divorce and the Internet

Posted on July 10, 2009 by Jason Schneider

Social networking sites have hit the mainstream and many of us have made it a daily routine to check and update our Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. These sites can be a great tool to allow us to stay in touch with friends and family and to keep them up to date on our lives. Social networking sites must be used responsibly though, especially when going through a divorce. Divorce can be an emotional and difficult process and spouses often give in to the temptation of trying to inflict emotional pain on each other and have begun to use the Internet to inflict this pain. Lawyers are now investigating these sites to find evidence and they are finding a gold mine.

Posting nasty comments about the other spouse, the opposing attorney, or the judge is never a good idea. These comments become available for everyone on the web to see. Not only do these comments unnecessarily inflict emotional pain and make the divorce process harder than it has to be, they may carry legal repercussions. Bad mouthing the judge is the quickest way to make an enemy and hurt your chances in court. Putting down your spouse may cast you as a mean or irresponsible person. No judge wants to help the bad guy!

Others have begun showing crazy party pictures with beer bottles scattered around the background (remember that your friends may tag photos of you too). Others post pictures of the new cars or luxurious vacations to the tropics. Hey, living well is the best revenge right? It is, but posting pictures of this new lifestyle will not help your cause. First, you will come off as irresponsible. A judge does not want to give custody to mother who is taking body shots or the father who is downing a beer bong. Secondly, the judge may start to guess if you correctly disclosed your net income, which controls the amount of child support you pay. If you make 30,000 a year and you just posted pictures of your new Ferrari and vacation to Hawaii, you may be in trouble. Once the judge starts to question your honesty, you are in trouble.

Although it may be tempting to vent about your divorce over the Internet, you should avoid giving in. The more private you can keep your divorce, the better. These “web attacks” serve no legitimate purpose and they will not heal the pain you are going through. Often, they will hurt your chances in court and make your lawyer’s job of presenting you as a good person or parent very difficult. They can be especially damaging when pursuing custody of children. Try to keep the amount of comments and pictures to a minimum. When posting, avoid discussing or showing anything that is related to the divorce. In the age of the Internet, it is now your responsibility to present your self as an adult in and out of the court room.


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