Successful Communication During Your Divorce
Many divorcing couples communicate with the other party via parent communicator apps, emails, or text messages during their cases. All of those communication models are okay, but remember that text messages are frequently misinterpreted, particularly in emotionally charged circumstances like a divorce. Please remember to provide context and not use sarcasm without plainly indicating it in a text. Also, remember that sending a text message to somebody when you are bitter or angry is fast and easy, but a text is admissible evidence, meaning that what you say via text matters. The message may be quick and easy to compose, but it has a long-lasting impact on you and your case.
So, here's some simple guidance from our family law practice in Altamonte Springs to help you manage text messages while going through the messiness of a divorce or custody case.
- Do take some time to think about what you text. People make poor choices when they're unhappy, angry, or afraid. Never transmit a text when you're in the center of your emotions. Take some time to get your feelings in check before you begin typing.
- Do utilize text for short interactions about agreements, like picking up and dropping off children. Texts are most suitable for brief logistical contacts or emergencies during a divorce. If you must have a more critical conversation about educational or medical decisions for your child or about an activity and how you will divide costs for it, most lawyers recommend using a co-parenting communicator to keep critical information like this in threads by subject where you can readily locate it in the future to ensure you follow your agreement.
- Do use text with complete knowledge that everything you say can quickly become a screenshot. If you get malicious texts, keep them, but do not engage. If they continue for a long time, feel free to tell your spouse or other parent that you are comfortable discussing the issue with them. Still, you don't believe this communication method is effective at this time, and recommend that you both come back after a pause.
- Do have another individual review your text for context and potential miscommunications. We're not saying to have somebody type up what you should say, but having somebody review your message helps you process what you mean and clear up and sidestep any possible problems.
- Don't forget the strength of a screenshot. Texts can quickly become evidence via a screenshot. Texts can be pulled off a damaged, dead, or aging phone.
- Don't believe you can delete a social account or text, and the record disappears. Attorneys are excellent at dragging up lots of old information. Not to mention, your soon-to-be ex is probably saving all they can to employ against you.
- Don't resort to name-calling, disrespect, or debating through text. This might seem obvious, but it's often a natural go-to when conversations get heated. If you are tempted to toss out an insult, walk away from your cell phone! Do not engage when you get an accusing, harassing, or name-calling text. Sinking to the other person's level accomplishes nothing to help your case.
People often need to pay more attention to how much their communications affect the outcome of their case. If you keep these suggestions in mind, you will have fewer terrible texts to read out loud and clarify at trial. Contact us today if you need a family law practice in Altamonte Springs.