After filing for divorce, you might find that news travels quickly through your community. In an ideal world, your friends, family and colleagues would respect your space and avoid pressing you uncomfortably about what happened or gossiping about the separation. Alas, we do not live in an ideal world. It’s helpful psychologically to prepare to encounter invasive, even offensive questioning.
You have a right to privacy during your divorce, but you also have a responsibility to protect it. There’s no good reason to tell everyone the intimate details of your divorce. Don’t dish on all the terrible things your spouse has done and how they’ve affected your children. That is your business, and yours alone.
More to the point: relaying this information can negatively influence or complicate your case. Avoid sending salacious emails; posting angry/upset messages online; or sharing information in public that you wouldn’t want to read aloud in a deposition at court. Consult a qualified Minnesota family law attorney for detailed guidance.
In general, when met with challenging questions about your relationship status (or the divorce itself), try a blanket answer that’s polite, but that shuts down further questioning. For example:
- I appreciate your asking. The situation is evolving, and I’ve got great help to figure out the next steps.
- You’re really sweet to ask, but I’m spent from talking about it. I’d prefer to hear what’s going on with you, anyway! It would help me to get out of my own head.
Memorize a few scripts (which you can obviously personalize) along these lines to handle invasive/uncomfortable inquiries.
The next step involves protecting your digital privacy, which can be much harder to do.
Your Privacy in the Technology Age
Digital privacy can lead to gray areas, legally speaking. For instance, one case in Michigan involved an ex-spouse hacking into his wife’s emails to confirm an affair. He has since been charged with a crime, and he faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted. This case highlights the need for a cautious approach. Observe these basic dos and don’ts:
- DO change all your passwords, especially if you’re sharing a residence with your spouse during the divorce process.
- DON’T send any emails regarding your divorce or new relationships. Digital copies are forever. If a judge thinks emails will be pertinent to your case, she may order them into evidence.
- DO think before you post on social media. As mentioned above, remember that anything you say online could be admissible in a divorce proceeding. Avoid talking about your divorce or your spouse while it’s still in process.
- DON’T attempt to snoop into your spouse’s privacy. This too could be used against you.
Privacy in the digital age can be difficult, but it’s still possible. Our team can help. Call our experienced Minnesota family law attorneys for insight into discreet approaches to divorce, such as mediation. We can help you take back control over the situation.