what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse
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what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse

Every marriage is not meant to last forever. No matter what the reasoning behind the divorce, it is important to have legal representation for each side. I almost lost everything because my former spouse said that he was taking care of things and that he would be fair about how the assets were divided. It took several weeks for me to find out what he was up to. It was then that I hired my own attorney and got what I deserved. You should never attempt to go through a divorce without a lawyer working on your side. On my site, I have listed several of the issues that can get overlooked if you are inexperienced with divorce documents and proceedings.


what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse

Lose Your Online Identity, Not Your Child Custody Case

Joy Johnson

How you handle yourself online can often hurt your child custody case. Internet savvy divorce attorneys know how to look for information that will make you look bad in court. While you probably realize that your ex (and his or her attorney) is looking at your social media pages, you may not realize other places that your online activity leaves you vulnerable to criticism.

Where Can Damaging Online Information About You Be Found?

While the vast majority of online information that ends up being used in divorce cases comes from social media sites, fully 15% of the evidence presented comes from "other sources." These other sources include:

  • dating websites. While some websites are more commonly used than others, using any dating website can be problematic. Common mistakes parents make include lying about their relationship status and pretending not to have children. Even if you don't lie, your eagerness to move on might be interpreted by a conservative judge as putting your romantic life ahead of your children's interests.
  • online gambling sites. If you gamble, your ex probably knows about it. If you gamble online, your ex's attorney can subpoena the records. Gamblers are generally not perceived as good role-models for minor children.
  • avatars in virtual worlds or on gaming sites. Are you a gamer? You don't want evidence showing up in court that you're spending your nights online playing video games when you are supposed to be spending them with your children. A judge can reasonably conclude that you aren't making your children your priority.
  • pornographic websites. It isn't hard for forensic computer experts to pull up proof that you're spending time on pornographic sites. Even where such activity is legal, it can make you look bad - especially if your children were home at the same time you were on the websites.

Why Do Courts Pay So Much Attention To What You Do Online?

Generally speaking, the argument is that the internet offers people just enough anonymity that they feel free to drop some of the niceties of social convention and reveal their true personalities and lifestyles. 

That means that the judge in your child custody case is going to believe that those pictures of you wearing black leather and a half-open shirt on the matchmaking website is really who you are - not the version of you that shows up in family court wearing your conservative Sunday attire and sensible shoes. 

In addition, having too much of an invested interest in an online world (gaming, gambling, dating, or otherwise) can be seen as detracting from your role as a parent. Judges want to be assured that the parent with primary custody is going to be focused on the health and well-being of the children, not distracted online.

It can be very frustrating to realize that everything that you do - online and off - is subject to scrutiny by the courts when it comes time to decide child custody, but that's the unfortunate reality you face. With that in mind, most attorneys like those of Thomas & Associates, PC recommend that you close your online accounts (all of them) and leave them closed until well after your custody case has been decided.