Social Media, Texting and Email During a Divorce

Social Media: Cut all ties

For many reasons, it is almost always advisable to cut all social media ties with your spouse when you are in the midst of a divorce. This is true for both personal and legal reasons, as removing or blocking your spouse from your social media should help both of you move on to the next phases of your life while also preventing your spouse from potentially trying to use your social media posts against you. Even if posts are not meant to be controversial and shouldn’t be seen as controversial by most, your spouse may latch on to posts and attempt to use them against you in a court of law, especially when it comes to issues like custody. Save yourself any unnecessary stress and drama and cut your spouse out all together.

Be aware, however, that even if you remove your spouse from social media, he or she may still have friends or family members on the lookout for potentially harmful posts against you. As such, you should be on your best behavior all around and shy away from any controversial or polarizing topics on your social media pages.

Stick to business

Although you may easily cut ties with your spouse from social media, there will be times where it is simply necessary for you to communicate via text, email or phone during the course of a divorce. This often involves logistical issues such as paying bills or arranging custodial exchanges.

In these situations, it is best to communicate with your spouse in a businesslike and courteous manner as much as possible, even when your emotions may be leading you to do otherwise. You should come into your communications with the other party under the assumption that these messages may one day show up in court pleadings (for all you know, they very may will!) and you want to put your best foot forward as a result.

Take your time

Take your time before responding or communicating with your spouse via email, phone or text—it is generally a good idea to draft your messages and give yourself some time to step back and review them before you hit send. This allows for you to take the temperature of the conversation down which your spouse will often reciprocate as well (this ends up being better for both parties). It also prevents you from sending something aggressive or denigrating which could be used against you in court. Keep in mind that all statements by parties, which means you and your spouse, are admissible in court.

Related Article: Effective Co-Parenting through Our Family Wizard

You must be very careful about what you do and say when you are going through a divorce.

When in doubt, don’t send it out

If you ever have to ask yourself whether or not you should send a particular message, post or email, that’s a very good sign that you should not. You are almost always better off not sending that message or taking some time before coming back to the message and reviewing it. You may also want to show the message to a friend or other confidant to make sure that you are communicating in an advisable manner.

Email vs. Text vs. Phone

Always be cognizant of anything that is written as opposed to something that is said in person or over the phone. In a world ruled by smartphones, anything you put in writing is always one button away from being screenshotted and only one additional step from being submitted as an exhibit in a court of law.

As such, you need to be much more deliberate when you are sending text and emails to your spouse. For this reason, it often makes sense to use email when communicating with your spouse as there is less immediacy in the email setting. People tend to take more time and be more deliberate with their messages when sending emails and you should be inclined to prefer email over text, which is more immediate and visceral.

As for phone or in-person communications, you should also be businesslike and courteous at all times. Even though these conversations cannot be saved or recorded in the same way that a text or email can be used by your spouse, your spouse has the ability to testify to anything you said or the ways in which you may have acted during any of these exchanges.

It is much harder for them to prove this compared to a text message or email, but you are better off not giving your spouse anything to gripe about in the first place.

Our Attorney Team