Dealing with your spouse’s mean texts and emails during divorce

It’s common for couples to fight frequently prior to separating or filing for divorce. The fights can happen in person, on the phone or even by text and email. But what should you do when you have filed for divorce (or legal separation) and the nasty texts and emails keep coming?

This is a problem that many people face. Maybe your estranged spouse is angry about something. Maybe they are drunk. Maybe their messages are becoming threatening or harassing. In most cases, the best thing you can do is to refuse to respond and keep the texts/emails as evidence to show your attorney or a judge.

It is common knowledge that social media sites like Facebook are becoming frequent sources of evidence in family law disputes (especially divorce and child custody cases). But evidence is also commonly gleaned from electronic communications such as email and text messages. Not only do these messages provide an exact record of what was said, they also include a time and date stamp.

In child custody proceedings, courts are often trying to gauge each parent’s willingness to be civil and cooperative. Nasty texts and harassing emails reflect poorly on the sender, not the receiver.

If you frequently receive angry or threatening texts from your estranged spouse in the middle of the night, it may be tempting to respond in a frustrated or exasperated way. But rather than doing so, imagine just how damaging your spouses texts may be when presented in court.

If the communications you receive from your spouse make you believe that you or your children are in danger of violence or other immediate threats, you should share them with police and seek protection in the form of a restraining order. But if the messages are simply mean-spirited or nasty, your best bet may be to stay silent but keep the evidence.

Source: The Huffington Post “How to Handle Your Ex’s Unsolicited Attack,” Jackie Pilossoph, Jan. 28, 2015

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