Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter whether you and your spouse are on good terms or not—any evidence your spouse finds can still be used against you while filing for divorce.
This is especially true if your spouse requests an at-fault divorce. For these reasons, it’s critical to carefully watch what you do and say during the divorce process.
For your protection, our lawyers have compiled a list of what can be used against you during your divorce.
Transferring money out of joint bank accounts, hiding or selling marital property, and withholding income will all raise red flags during the divorce process. Even if your spouse doesn’t notice anything unusual going on, their lawyer certainly will.
While you may be tempted to do a little “revenge spending” while you and your spouse’s assets are still tied, this is not a good idea. Unfortunately, almost every purchase you make can be traced back to you, and any actions you take to purposely deplete your spouse’s assets can hurt your case.
Emails, Texts, and Phone calls
While you may think that your messages are private, this is rarely the case. Even text messages that are months or years old can be subpoenaed as evidence. Until your divorce is finalized, it’s best to avoid sending any messages that disparage your ex, disclose information about affairs, or discuss sensitive matters such as financial debts, child custody disagreements, or illegal activities.
Social Media Posts
Just as you should avoid emails or texts that can be used against you, we strongly encourage you to avoid discussing your divorce on social media. Even if you have your ex blocked, their legal representation can still likely access the posts that you make. Any inflammatory remarks about your ex can be used against you in court.
Just because both of you have agreed to end the relationship doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear to start a new one. Dating during this time can wreak havoc on the final outcome of your divorce. This is mainly because having an extramarital relationship can be used against you during legal proceedings. Even if the relationship started after you decided to get divorced, it may be used as evidence that you’re at fault for the break-up.
In general, most judges disapprove of badmouthing behavior, especially when it is done in the presence of your children. If you want to be viewed favorably by the judges in your case, it’s best to avoid criticizing your spouse in front of anyone, even outside of arbitration and the courtroom.
If you stop paying utilities or other crucial bills because of the rift in your relationship, this can be used against you in the divorce. This is because continuing to pay bills, rent, and other responsibilities during the divorce is known as “maintaining the status quo.” If you stop paying for things you normally finance, a judge can file an emergency motion ordering you to start paying for these things again.
While it may feel good initially to retaliate against your spouse, doing so will only come back to hurt you. For this reason, avoid throwing clothes out the window, breaking precious property, or engaging in any kind of destructive or scandalous behavior.
Conversations with their Lawyer
Never talk to your spouse’s attorney or legal team without your own lawyer present! Even if they act friendly towards you, they are not on your side. Anything you say to them could be used against you in the case.
Taking on additional debt during divorce proceedings can complicate things and in some situations may be considered marital waste. For this reason, it’s best to avoid any unnecessary spending until the divorce is finalized.
Ignored Court Orders
Ignoring any court orders, no matter how insignificant they seem, is one of the worst things you can do during divorce proceedings. If the judge believes you willfully violated a court order, they can hold you in divorce contempt of court. At this point, they can administer fines, jail time, or other penalties to enforce compliance.
Hiring a Divorce Attorney
As you’re now aware, there are numerous matters, both small and large, that can be used against you during your divorce. To protect yourself completely, we strongly recommend hiring an experienced divorce attorney to handle your case.
Clients who have tried to file for divorce on their own often find that it is more stressful and creates more legal challenges than if they had gone to a lawyer from the beginning. To save yourself from a long road of difficulties, turn to a qualified attorney to guide you through the process.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney in South Jersey
If you’re dealing with a contested divorce, turn to the family law firm at Rebel Brown Law Group. Our attorneys have years of experience helping clients with divorce cases, child support, domestic violence issues, restraining orders, and a plethora of other legal issues. We’re the most trusted South Jersey divorce lawyers!
Call us today at (856) 881-5000 to set up your free case consultation.
Disclaimer: This page is solely informational and should not be used as legal advice.