If you are thinking about getting a divorce or are in the middle of a divorce, take advantage of email. Emails can be a useful tool as they document conversations between you and your spouse and are admissible as evidence in Court. An email exchange showing a spouse being unreasonable or disrespectful over a long period of time can impact the ruling of the Court. This can include, but is not limited to, child custody proceedings. Judges do not tolerate this kind of behavior or treatment as it is counterproductive to co-parenting and clearly demonstrates a parties inability to effectively communicate. This will be useful evidence to demonstrate that a modification in custody or parenting time is appropriate.
However, email can do its fair share of damage, too. If you are not careful, email can also be utilized against you, which may result in your matter being negatively impacted. It is always important to think before you type! Before sending an email, consider if you would feel comfortable with a Judge reading your words out loud in a courtroom. Consider these tips to keep you on the right track. The right track minimizes exposure and gives you a lot of fighting chance towards a favorable and fair outcome.
Change your passwords. To ensure safety from a snooping spouse, change your passwords every month. You don’t want to make yourself vulnerable. It is always smart to change passwords from time to time. Passwords should be kept private. Do not share them to anyone, even with your spouse.
Do not ‘auto-save’. In many cases, you and your spouse will be staying in one place until your divorce is finalized. Turn off auto-saved passwords, especially for financial institutions. On Chrome, use the button on the far-right side of the browser toolbar to get to the option menu. Choose the settings menu option. Click ‘show advanced settings’. In the ‘passwords and forms’ section, click the link to ‘manage passwords’. Hover over the site whose password you would like to remove, then click the X that appears. Each internet browser may have a different process to remove any auto-saved passwords.
Use a personal email address. It is best not to use your work email address as it is not private. Your employer can access emails from a work email address. Your emails will not be confidential and important sensitive divorce litigation information may be in there that you do not want your employer to be privy to. Another important thing to consider, if you run a business that your spouse may have an interest in, his or her lawyer can access your emails through a subpoena during the discovery process. It may be helpful to create a separate personal email address that is only utilized for the divorce litigation to ensure your safety and privacy of information. You can never be too careful.
Do not CC your emails. Do not copy (cc) your friend, parent, or other person who might be helping you in the divorce process. Tempting as it is, you and your loved ones are not covered under attorney client privilege. This privilege or privacy protection is only for the benefit of an attorney-client relationship.