BY: Jodi Furr Colton, Esq | Brinkley Morgan
You’re getting divorced. Admit it, you’re angry. Angry like you’ve never been angry before. You’re borderline irrational. Or maybe you’ve actually crossed the line into completely irrational. Before you do anything really stupid, take a deep breath and consider these suggestions to avoid divorce mistakes from the front lines of getting divorced in Florida:
1. Don’t read your spouse’s email. It’s tempting, but you should not hack into your spouse’s email account and start reading. First, it’s illegal. Second, you can probably get those emails legitimately through the discovery process. If you do obtain them properly, your lawyer might be able to use them in court to help your case. If you get them illegally, you are out of luck. Even if your spouse is already logged in, or you know the password, don’t start reading. At best, it’s an invasion of privacy, and at worst, it’s a crime. The fact that during your marriage your spouse gave you the password or allowed you to read his or her email doesn’t make it okay to do so now. Consider the filing of divorce papers to be a revocation of that consent.
2. Don’t post things on Facebook that you will later regret. This is a general life lesson, but even more important while you’re in the middle of a divorce. One of the stupidest mistakes that people seem to make over and over again is posting things that can be used against them. If you are trying to reduce your alimony or child support because you “can’t afford to pay” don’t post pictures of your recent trip to Hawaii with your new fiancé. And, if you are trying to get more timesharing with your kids, don’t post about how much fun you had out partying all night when you were supposed to be with them. And, no matter how angry you are in the moment, do you really want your friends, and their friends, and their friends friends to know about the details of your spouse’s affair or your financial problems?
3. Don’t underestimate your spouse. Remember that your new adversary was once your friend and you probably divulged quite a bit of personal information to him or her. If you lived together for any length of time, your spouse knows you pretty well and knows when you are lying. So, if your Aunt Mildred left you some money a while back don’t try to pretend it didn’t happen or feign forgetfulness. Your spouse remembers Aunt Mildred’s inheritance, and believe me, he or she has told his or her lawyer about it. If your spouse’s lawyer gets the sense you are not being honest, then he or she will be suspect of your every move from that point forward.
Jodi Furr Colton is a Boca Raton attorney with the law firm of Brinkley Morgan. She focuses her practice on divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, parental responsibility and timesharing. Jodi is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Swarthmore College and Pine Crest. She is happily married and the mother of two. Learn more here, or telephone 561-665-4738. On an iPhone or Android Phone? Click Here.