When many people first start divorce proceedings, they are surprised to learn that numerous things are considered evidence that can be used against them in the courts. For example, text messages are classified as admissible evidence. That means any DMs you have sent before or during the divorce are evidence.
Divorce is hard on everyone involved, and emotions can run very high. But turning to your DMs to confront your ex or have a heated argument is counter-productive at best. At worst, it could hurt your case and even affect financial matters, the distribution of assets, and arrangements for shared child care. In short, you should stay out of your DMs until the divorce is final.
It’s not just in your instant messages that you should exercise restraint either. When you email your ex-spouse or speak on the phone, try to avoid making inflammatory statements or using confrontational language.
Whenever possible, try to avoid one on one text message conversations with your ex. Because there is so much tension and stress during divorce proceedings, it’s all too easy to slip up and say something impulsively that you will later regret.
If you have to speak to your ex via DMs, follow these tips:
- Control your emotions and actions. Never send a text when you feel angry, sad, emotional, or frustrated — even if you’re in the middle of a conversation with your ex. Instead, put the phone down, put it on silent, and take some time to regroup and gather your thoughts. When you are sure you can reply without escalating the situation or saying something that could come back to hurt you, you can then respond.
- If the shoe is on the other foot and your ex is DMing you horrible and hateful messages, do not reply in kind. Screenshot the messages and send a copy of these to your lawyer. Reply to your ex in a patient and restrained manner. For example: “I’m going to stop replying now because these messages are hurtful.” Or: “Let’s talk about this later when things have calmed down.”
Remember that it’s not only DMs between you and your ex that are admissible evidence; if you have sent less than favorable messages about your ex to others, these messages may show up in court. So while the divorce is ongoing, refrain from talking badly about your ex to others. Your divorce lawyer in Tuscaloosa, or wherever you are located, will really appreciate it.
Overall, it’s important to understand that your ex could get the upper hand if you succumb to texting temptations. Avoid texting your spouse during the divorce, and when you have to text, keep it short, to the point, and civil.