Sometimes I am asked, what should I be doing while my case is pending. I usually tell clients to keep a log of anything related to the divorce or children, but what does that really mean and is there more that you should be doing while your case is pending?
- Keep a diary related to your children – Write down dates and times of any thing related to your children. This could mean visits that were kept or not kept. When the other person shows up late for a visit, or you are late for a visit. Document any reasons for this. Document times you are not told about events happening with your children. Document times you were no allowed to see or speak to your children. Make sure that this diary is for communications between your attorney and you only. You could write at the top “For my attorney” or “To my attorney” or something similar. Doing so, and only sharing with your attorney could make this a privileged communication which would not need to be revealed to the opposing party.
- Keep a diary related to your divorce – If you are aware of times that money disappeared from bank accounts or retirement accounts, document it. If you question charges that were made by your spouse, document it. If you saw your spouse with another person in an intimate way, document it. As with the above write “For my attorney” or “To my attorney” to keep it privileged between you and your attorney.
- Stay off of Social Media – What exactly does this mean? It means DO NOT POST ANYTHING and I do mean ANYTHING on any social media site. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Google+, no LinkedIn, no Twitter. Do not share anything on these sites. Do not comment on anyone’s pages or photos or links on any of these sites. Also do not delete your profiles on these sites. Leave them as they were the day this dispute started. Having said all of this, if you want to stay on social media just to see what’s happening with your friends, that is OK, just do not comment or post anything. The most innocent of posts can be taken completely out of context and turned around by the opposing side.
- DO NOT DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH YOUR CHILDREN – There are no circumstances in which you need to tell your children the details of this matter. I’ve heard people tell me, “but this involves them.” Actually it does not, it involves a dispute among the parents of the children. Yes it will affect them, but these issues are complicated and stressful enough. The children should be allowed to be children and know that their parents are working out issues on their own and letting the children grow and learn and have fun.
- Be careful what you write or say – Yes you have to communicate with your ex about issues, especially when you have children, but be careful what you say and/or write. Anything you say and/or write could be used against you in a trial. In Texas only one party to a conversation has to know that it is being recorded. Therefore, anything you say to your ex could be being recorded. Anything you put in email, text, Facebook, etc. can also be used.
- Record conversations – Yes, feel free to record conversations between you and your ex. These could be helpful not only to use against your ex, but sometimes to also remember what was said during those conversations.