• Divorce 101: Texting Your Soon-to-be Ex-Spouse?

    Your text messages rants do not win cases, but they can certainly lose one.

    Over the last several years, divorce proceedings and admissible evidence have evolved along with the world’s ubiquitous digital and social media communications.

    So, you may be wondering what that means for you if you are going through a divorce.

    Could your text message rants be used as evidence by your spouse to illustrate your anger and lack of control? Could a comment or message you left on a friend’s Facebook page help your spouse demonstrate your potential infidelity or emotional instability?

    The short answer is YES. These types of communications that can be collected by your soon-to-be ex-spouse and opposing counsel may be admitted as evidence in court cases, provided they meet certain requirements.

    Digital Communications as Evidence
    Whether you leave a brief comment on a friend’s social media photo, refer to your soon-to-be ex-spouse on a status update, mention him or her on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, send an email, speak by phone, leave an audio message, or send a text message, this digital content can be saved and referenced. Any type of digital, written, or verbal communication can leave a trail and end up as printed, admissible evidence that can be used in court.

    Old emails, texts, and social media from years ago that demonstrate wrongdoing or verbal abuse, may be subpoenaed and used as evidence. Note that accessing a spouse’s private accounts is illegal, and consequently will not be permissible in court.

    Digital Communications as Evidence – The Other Side
    Have you received communications from your soon-to-be ex-spouse that could be used as evidence? Keep in mind that allowing digital communication as evidence may require examination to prove authenticity and relevance. Contact your divorce attorney to determine whether the communications will be valuable and admissible in court.

    Tips for Digital Communication with Your Soon-to-Be Ex-Spouse
    If you are going through a divorce, place extra caution on any communication with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Review these important tips before communicating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse:

    1. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is sending rude or nasty communications, do not respond in kind. Simply save his or her messages on your phone and take the high road – don’t respond. Instead, use your anger and energy to fuel positive things in your life.

    2. Before sending or engaging in any communication with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, evaluate if the communication is necessary or not. If the communication is necessary, be sure it is objective and neutral in tone. Don’t ever communicate with him or her when you are upset or angry. Finally, save a copy of the communications.

    3. Keep in mind that any texts you send to others about your soon-to-be ex-spouse could also be used as evidence in court. Stay on the safe side and do not send emails, texts, leave voicemails, or use social media that mention your soon-to-be ex-spouse in any way.

    4. If you are unsure how to proceed with a communication, consult with your divorce attorney promptly before communicating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

    Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., specializes in Marital and Family Law, providing reputable legal services for prenuptial and co-habitation agreements, paternity cases, adoption matters, alimony and child support, time sharing and parenting plans, drafting of qualified domestic relations orders (qdros), mediation services, equitable distributions, collaborative law, post-judgement modification and enforcement, domestic violence cases, and dissolution of marriage or divorce. Troy Legal, P.is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.

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