Think Before You Text
It’s hard to imagine life without text messaging, e-mail, and social media. They help to make the world a smaller place. But they can also carry significant risks, especially when you find yourself in the middle of a legal proceeding such as a divorce. Firing off an angry e-mail, text, or tweet could have potential consequences in your case. With social media and electronic communications, the name of the game is think before you text.
Communication between spouses can be important evidence in a divorce case. E-mails and text messages can help show a judge or jury the real dynamics of a relationship, and potentially impeach a witness who is on their best behavior because they’re in court. These are just a few examples of electronic evidence, which is an emerging area in Texas Family Law.
Once you send text, e-mail, or social media post, it is out of your control. Before sending something, answer a couple questions.
- What might a judge or jury think of this text/e-mail/post?
- Do I want to have to explain this to a judge or jury?
- Do I want this published in the newspaper?
- Would I want my children to see this?
It’s in no one’s interest that a message like the one below gets sent and then entered into evidence at trial:
The above comic is from a webcomic called Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It seems absurd, but it serves as an example: you don’t want to be that guy.
There are a lot of parts of a divorce case that are out of a client’s control, like court schedules, but e-mails, text messages, and social media posts are definitely within a client’s control. Don’t commit an unforced error. Think before you text.