In one of our recent posts, we discussed the fact that Facebook is now cited in approximately one-third of all divorce cases. Family law disputes, particularly divorce and child custody cases, are increasingly involving evidence taken from social media sites, including but not limited to Facebook. Because people have gotten used to over-sharing on social media, they often don’t realize that this intimate information is easily accessible and can be damaging if used by their spouse in court.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss another rich source of evidence: electronic communications. If you have been receiving mean-spirited or harassing texts from your estranged spouse, these could become important sources of evidence in your case. That’s one reason why, as tempting as it may be, you should avoid responding to these inflammatory messages.
After a couple files for divorce or legal separation, each spouse is expected to behave toward the other with some semblance of civility (although this often does not happen). If your spouse is attempting to vent anger by sending you hateful texts and emails, you should first realize that engaging and responding is neither productive for you or your spouse. Anger and heartache about the divorce do not get resolved via text and email.
Even though you don’t have to respond to these messages (or read them, for that matter), you should still save them. In child custody cases, judges want to see if parents can behave civilly toward one another and put their differences aside for the sake of their children. Your spouse’s texts and emails will likely provide plenty of proof about how civil and mature they can be.
As a final note, please remember that there is a difference between nasty communications and threats. If you or your children are being threatened by your spouse, you may need to share these texts and emails with law enforcement and your Arlington Heights divorce attorney right away.
If the messages are just mean-spirited, however, choosing not to engage is likely the best thing you can do for yourself now and in the future.
Source: The Huffington Post, “How to Handle Your Ex’s Unsolicited Attack,” Jackie Pilossoph, Jan. 28, 2015