Avoid trash talking online during a divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Friday, August 24, 2012.

There’s no doubt that going through a divorce is an emotional and frustrating time. However, with more and more people using social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, many soon-to-be ex-spouses should take heed that these platforms are not the appropriate place to trash talk an ex for it could come back to hurt them in the courtroom.

The first thing to remember is that while everyone does have the right to feel a certain way, straight out lying about someone could lead to a person being sued for libel. This means that if a wife is claiming her husband is an abusive, alcoholic — if he can prove otherwise — this could be the grounds for a lawsuit.

Additionally, even if the statements being made are true, it could end up hurting an ex, especially when children are involved. For example, a judge weighing in on a child custody dispute does not want to hear about trash talking, especially when children are involved as the child could end up reading those statements.

Lastly, when it comes to posting on social media sites, keep in mind that what is posted is out there for the public to see and could affect the terms of a divorce settlement. For example, if a father is claiming that he doesn’t have enough money to pay for alimony or child support, but then is posting photos from a recent vacation or of a new car, a judge may take these to mean otherwise.

In the end, the message is to think of any possible repercussions before venting or posting about a divorce online. Would you want what you posted read by the judge hearing your divorce case?

Source: Reuters, “Facebook Ex Trashing: It Can Cost You,” Geoff Williams, Aug. 2, 2012

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