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What Not to Say About Your Divorce

Happy little girl is hugging teddy bear at office of family lawyer. Registration of guardianship. Family in office of family lawyer.

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to monitor what you say and to whom you say it. Below, we’ve compiled a few specific areas in which it’s important to be delicate while the divorce is pending. If you’re in the midst of a divorce or child custody dispute, call a seasoned New Jersey family law attorney for advice and representation.

What Not to Say to Your Kids

Divorce has a profound effect on children; the best you can do is work to limit the impact, maintain consistency where possible, and help the children adjust. Divorcing parents who try to use their children against one another are more likely to have their own custodial rights limited. Be careful with what you say to your children about your divorce and how you act around them generally. Remember: You are there for your children, not the other way around.

Don’t Speak Negatively About Your Spouse to Your Kids. It can be tempting to vent to your children about your ex, or even to try to “win” their support for you during the case. Curb that temptation. Courts tend to believe that badmouthing your child’s parent to them is harmful; you’re doing more damage to your own parental rights than to those of your ex. You could also be causing your children emotional harm. Discuss your feelings with friends, family members, counselors, or your lawyer. Keep the fight away from your kids.

Don’t Argue in Front of Your Kids. For similar reasons, do your best to avoid fighting with your ex in front of the children. Have arguments on the phone, in private, or walk away from the kids to talk. It’s tough enough on your kids without them seeing their parents fighting; it’ll cause them undue stress, and anything you say in the heat of the moment could wind up in court.

Don’t Use Your Kids for Intel or as a Go-Between. Do not put your kids in the middle of you and your ex. Don’t use them to relay information to your ex or to spy on them. Maintain your own relationship with your kids. If they ask about the divorce, you can be honest, but be careful. Consider what to say based on the children’s ages and maturity levels. Again, avoid saying hurtful things.

What Not to Say Online

It’s also important to monitor what you say and do online during your divorce. Anything you post on social media can and will be used against you in court. Even if your profile is set to “private,” your ex might be able to subpoena those records. If you delete something you posted, digital forensic experts may be able to dig it up.

Don’t Discuss Your Case Online. Trash-talking your ex on social media can negatively affect your case. Courts do not like when you disparage the other party to a case publicly, especially when there are children involved. The court may penalize you or otherwise hold it against you during the case. The same goes for your friends and family; if they are posting thoughts about your divorce, especially if those posts disparage your ex, those posts could be held against you. Ask them to limit their discussion of your case online. Moreover, if you disclose anything that you discussed with your lawyer online, you could void your attorney-client privilege.

Be Careful With Anything You Do Online. Truly, your best option is to stop engaging with social media at all while your case is pending. If you do post, be careful. Pictures of you doing anything “immoral” or criminal–doing drugs, partying, gambling–might affect a child custody decision or other order. Judges tend to be more conservative, on average; don’t give them any reason to question your integrity. Even pictures of you dating can affect the court’s decisions. The court may rethink a decision about spousal support, or they may see you spending money and alter their opinion of property distribution or support. Be careful with anything you post, and untag yourself if someone else posts anything about you.

Call a Seasoned New Jersey Child Custody and Divorce Attorney for Stellar Advice and Representation

If you’re considering divorce, or if you’re dealing with issues involving parental rights, divorce, equitable division of property, alimony/spousal support, child support, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the experienced and compassionate Union family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation.

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