Family Lawyer Eagle County CO
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media make it easier for us to share our lives with the world. But while a status update, recent photo, or Tweet keeps us connected with family and friends in Colorado and across the country, it can also be used as evidence against us in divorce proceedings. A family lawyer Eagle County, CO clients trust provides a brief overview about social media and electronic communications when you are involved in family law legal proceedings.
A New Legal World
Social media isn’t the only concern. According to a major survey of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, electronic communications are increasingly used as evidence in divorce cases. In a three-year period, 97 percent of members reported an increase in evidence taken from smartphones. The most common types of evidence gathered were:
- Text messages
- Call histories
- Internet data
- GPS information
Don’t use social media or electronic communications to badmouth your spouse, or brag about your infidelities, or do anything that paints you as a bad spouse or parent. Remember that divorce isn’t always the only thing at stake. A family lawyer Colorado parents recommend knows that electronic communications can also be a factor in a custody battle.
The moral of the story is this: Be careful what you put into writing because it can and will be used against you in the courtroom.
Spying on Your Spouse’s Email
It’s hard to ignore a text message or email notification that pops up on a spouse’s phone when they’re standing right next to you. In that case, they might not have a strong expectation of privacy. But one man didn’t know that his wife was reading his email, and he was surprised when his own email messages were used against him to prove “serial infidelity” in a divorce proceeding.
The husband filed a federal lawsuit against his ex-wife under the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. The couple was married from 1970 to 2011, and during the divorce proceeding, the wife used email correspondence between the husband and other women to show that he had been unfaithful to her. But the husband claimed that he didn’t know she had access to his email and that she must have arranged to have his messages automatically forwarded to her account.
The federal district court dismissed the lawsuit, but the federal appellate court reversed that decision. The appeals court said that the wife’s actions “technically fall within the language of the act, though Congress probably didn’t anticipate its use as a tactical weapon in a divorce proceeding.”
Our experienced attorneys will help ensure something like this doesn’t happen to you. We will build your case using evidence that legally can be introduced at trial.
Co-Parenting Communication Moving Forward
While it is critical to be cautious when communicating electronically and interacting on social media platforms while your divorce or child custody case is pending, it is also important to be cautious in these ways moving forward if you opt to co-parent with your ex. While you won’t need to be quite as proactive in the ways that you communicate as you must when your case is pending, it is important to remember that your ex could request a modification of your child custody order or parenting agreement down the road. Under these circumstances, your social media presence and/or electronic communications may be used as evidence against you.
If the thought of having to watch what you say until your kids turn 18 sounds exhausting, it’s okay to take a deep breath. Most of the time, if you’re conscious about how you communicate with your ex and you don’t post anything too suspect online, you should be fine. However, it can be helpful to set some solid expectations and boundaries concerning co-parent communication right in the text of your parenting agreement. That way, you can proactively figure out how to communicate in ways that are least likely to inspire tension, resentment, and calls to modify your co-parenting arrangements inspired by your ex trying to back you into a corner.
Crafting a Manageable Parenting Plan
When you meet with an experienced Eagle County, CO family lawyer at our firm, you’ll be able to ask any questions that you may have about how to craft a workable parenting plan and how to make your co-parenting arrangement as manageable as possible. Your child custody situation must be resolved according to the best interests of the child standard. Part of ensuring your child’s best interests is figuring out how to communicate with your ex about co-parenting matters effectively without driving your kids – or yourself – up the wall.
The trusted legal team at Zweig Law, PC – Attorneys at Law has extensive experience assisting co-parents with drafting parenting plans that are uniquely tailored to their needs. Most of the time, parenting plans (which are legally enforceable documents) lay out a former couple’s co-parenting schedule. This agreement indicates when the child or children affected by the agreement will be spending time with each of their parents. However, these agreements can govern much more than scheduling. They can address expectations for travel between houses, who will be responsible for paying for certain extracurricular activities, how the child(ren) will communicate with the parent that is absent at any given moment, etc. It can also govern both when and how coparents will be expected to communicate with one another. Being proactive about this aspect of your future coparenting relationship can minimize the opportunity for tensions to arise before they’ve had the opportunity to begin brewing.
Let Our Experienced Legal Team Provide Guidance and Support
If you are going through a divorce or other family law issue, contact Zweig Law, PC Attorneys at Law to find out how we can help. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with an Eagle County CO family lawyer. Our legal team will help you navigate through the divorce process, including advising you about what not to post on social media or include in electronic communications.