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Texting and Family Law

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As texting becomes more prominent in our daily lives, people are using this mode of communication as an alternative to actually speaking to someone on the phone. So how may this method ofcommunication impact a divorce or family law case?

In a family law case, particularly a very contentious one, the ability to text versus talk may be a benefit. There is often animosity and hurt feelings among a divorcing couple. As such, aconversation may quickly result in one person speaking in anger without really thinking. This will certainly cause emotions to run high and will likely (at least temporarily) hinder anysettlement negotiations. In addition, this leaves open the possibility that children will hear their parents arguing. This situation is where texting versus speaking on the phone can bebeneficial – a spouse can take his/her time to cool down and respond, rather than blurting out something that he/she later wishes he/she could take back. It also lessens the possibility of kidsgetting caught in the middle of their parents’ argument.

Texting can also be beneficial as it creates a “paper trail” of communication. If one spouse needs to change a visitation drop off location, for example, he/she can communicate this informationvia text. That way, if the other spouse later alleges that he/she was not told, showing the text can back up the communication.

While there are definitely benefits to using texts as a mode of communication in family law cases, there may also be drawbacks if the user is not careful. As stated above, a text creates a “papertrail” of communication between parties. Therefore, before you send a text, ask yourself if you would want your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, or the Judge deciding your case to read it. Ifthe answer is no, don’t send it. Remember that anything in writing can be used against you.

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