The decision to get a divorce can be one of the hardest decisions you ever make. Once you have actually made the decision, you must face the equally daunting task of telling your kids, family, friends, and all of the other people in your life. But talking about your divorce can be a minefield for both personal and legal reasons. It is important to be aware that there can be serious consequences. Things you say or write in the heat of the moment can be used against you in court. Here are some tips
1. Decide Who You Will Tell
Not everyone needs to know about your divorce, especially not right away. But it is important that the people closest to you hear about your divorce from you. You don’t want your parents to find out from the neighbour down the street, or your spouse to hear it from a distant relative. Make a list of the people you are going to tell and how you’re going to tell them. You will also need to take a different approach depending on whom you are talking to.
2. Watch What You Say In Front of the Kids
It is important to discuss the issues that will affect your children with them directly, in an age-appropriate way. But you should be careful to keep the kids out of adult conversations and to be especially cautious when you are talking about your kids and what might happen to them. Kids can be very good at eavesdropping and there are some conversations they do not need to hear.
3. Keep It Out of the Workplace
You may want to tell one or two trusted colleagues if you are very close to them, but in general it’s best to keep your divorce out of the workplace until it is finalized. If everyone at work knows what is happening in your personal life, it might affect how your professional work is interpreted, even if it isn’t affecting your work.
4. Don’t Post Anything on Online
This is a big one. Assume that anything you post online is effectively public and will be used against you in court. Even if you delete it later, someone could have taken a screenshot of your post or comment. Once you put something on the web you have no control over where it goes. It is a good idea to keep your social media privacy settings on high during your divorce. To be safe, don’t mention anything about your divorce on social media at all. If you are feeling emotional and need to rant, call your lawyer or therapist – posting a rant online can have serious negative consequences.
5. Nothing In Writing
Assume that anything you put into writing will be read by a judge. If you wouldn’t want something to be read out loud in court, don’t put it in writing. Even a private Facebook message or an email to a friend could end up being circulated in the public domain.
To speak to an experienced family lawyer, please contact Jason P. Howie, online or at 519.973.1500.