During a divorce, emotions often run high. It’s no secret that many soon-to-be ex-spouses often harbor animosity towards one another for any number of reasons. And that animosity can, in turn, spill over into the proceedings. These displays of hostile or damaging behavior toward your spouse could ultimately cost you in your divorce.

What harm could leaving an angry voicemail or posting a resentful message on social media cause your divorce? Even when you feel your spouse deserves the vitriol for causing you distress, sharing your anger in public or even through what you believe will be a private message can have serious consequences when it comes to the ultimate division of assets and child custody, not to mention the additional time and money spent on lawyers for “damage control.”

Asset division

Attacking your soon-to-be-ex on social media or in front of their colleagues and friends will only hinder your ability to obtain marital assets, spousal maintenance, or child support. These behaviors, when presented in court, may backfire in your ex’s favor. And if you hurt your spouse’s potential to earn money or even cost them their job, you may be the “biggest loser.” Your spouse, and not you, may be the one to obtain favorable compensation, given the impact on their reputation and income.

Child custody

In deciding custody, the courts are always guided by the best interest of your child(ren). Any perceived inappropriate parental behavior brings into question your ability to parent appropriately. Outbursts like engaging in public harassment, involving your child(ren) in an argument between you and your spouse, or attempting to alienate them from the other parenft could lead a judge to reevaluate the custody arrangements – and not in your favor.

How you feel about your ex is not the issue. There is a reason you are divorcing. Divorce takes a toll on all parties involved, including your children. Regardless of how you feel about your ex, it is in your best interests and that of your children to maintain a calm and respectable demeanor in your interactions. To the court, it demonstrates your maturity and that you prioritize your child(ren), despite any resentment you may feel for your ex.

Benefits of an amicable divorce

Working amicably through the outstanding issues of your divorce may feel impossible, especially given the inevitable hurt feelings and tension. But if you can manage to pull it off, you will save yourself a significant amount of time, money, and stress in the process. It may give you more control over the proceedings, and keep your children out of the courtroom. And you might, through the process, learn to work with your ex, setting the tone for future co-parenting.

On the other hand, lashing out at your spouse in public and on social media could damage your reputation, your family dynamic, and your chance of a favorable divorce outcome. And you help your ex build a case against you as the documentation of your actions piles up, whether through recorded phone calls and conversations, saved social media posts, or adverse witnesses. These reflect negatively on you in court, where a judge can only presume who you really are and how you normally act based on the evidence provided. As is often said by TV lawyers, “Everything you say can and will be used against you.” Remember that.

If you would like to discuss how to harness those hurt feelings into an appropriate legal strategy, let’s talk. I’m Daniel H. Stock, and you can reach me at 475-232-4105 or dhstock@danielhstockpllc.com.

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