Three Mistakes Not to Make During Your Divorce
By: Jodi Furr Colton
Getting divorced can be exhausting, overwhelming and above all stressful. Under the strain, with tensions running high and emotions clouding their judgment, many people make poor decisions that they later regret. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
Do not read your spouse’s email.
It is tempting, but you should not hack into your spouse’s email account and start reading. First, it is illegal. Second, you may be able to get those emails legitimately through the discovery process. If you do obtain them properly, your attorney might be able to use them in court to help your case. However, if you obtain them illegally, you are out of luck. Even if your spouse is already logged in, or you know the password, you still should not read his or her email. At best, it is an invasion of privacy and at worst it is a crime. Even if your spouse gave you the password or allowed you to read his or her email before your divorce, it is not okay to do so now. Consider the filing of divorce papers to be a revocation of that consent.
Do not post things on Facebook that you will later regret.
One of the biggest mistakes that people seem to make over and over again is posting things online that can be used against them in their case. If you are trying to reduce your alimony or child support because you “can’t afford to pay” you should not post pictures of your recent trip to Hawaii with your new fiancé. And, if you are trying to get more timesharing with your kids, do not post about how much fun you had out partying all night when you were supposed to be with them. And, no matter how angry you are in the moment, do you really want your friends, and their friends, and their friends friends to know about the details of your spouse’s affair or your financial problems.
Do not underestimate your spouse.
Remember that your new adversary was once your friend and you probably divulged quite a bit of personal information to him or her. If you lived together for any length of time, your spouse knows you pretty well and knows when you are lying. So, if your Aunt Mildred left you some money a while back, do not try to pretend that bank account does not exist or feign forgetfulness. Your spouse remembers Aunt Mildred’s inheritance, and your “secret” bank account, and more likely than not, he or she has told his or her lawyer about it. If your spouse’s lawyer gets the sense you are not being honest, then your every move from that point forward will be suspect.
Jodi Furr Colton is a Boca Raton attorney with the law firm of Brinkley Morgan. She focuses her practice on divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, parental responsibility and timesharing. She can be reached at 561-241-3113.