Blogs from November, 2014

Warning!!! Think and Rethink before Sending!!!


My law partner proofread my submission on the Ostrich and discovered a few grammatical errors and typos. It reminded me of the necessity of proofreading before posting, or in the case of my clients, proofreading before sending emails and texts. Emotion is a very dangerous component to your divorce or child custody proceeding. Emotion triggers responses that we aren’t always proud of months later when they are read to a judge in court. My client, often embarrassed by the words being read, will lean over to me and whisper, “sorry, I was upset”.

While it may be true that they were upset when they sent it, the emotion doesn’t justify the response and doesn’t help our case. Judges can rationalize to themselves that the sender of the email or text reacts using emotion rather than sound parenting skills and behaves the same way when upset by their children. It may or may not be true, but why run the risk?

Many of my clients forward upsetting emails to me and we discuss them before the client responds. Some of my clients request that friends or family members read their responses before they send them. Both strategies accomplish the goal of removing your negative emotions but often times friends and family are also too emotionally involved to give a well reasoned opinion. If you do choose the option of using friends and family members, be sure to select people that are very conservative and aren’t your normal sounding board.

Also, If you do opt for the route of having friends and family proofread before sending, only allow them to read the emails or texts. DO NOT GIVE THEM BACKGROUND. If it is not on the screen, then it is not relevant because when the text or email is read in court the lawyer for your spouse is not going to say, “by the way judge, what you don’t know is my own client deserved this because they did the same thing two weeks ago.”

You don’t have to have me or a friend or family member read every email or text, just the ones your spouse sent to agitate you. Remember, emails and texts last forever. They are wonderful tools and weapons that can be used for or against you. Make them work for you by proofreading and making sure you don’t send anything you wouldn’t want a judge to read!

Sorry for errors in previous posts and sorry in advance for my inevitable errors in the future!

Get started with our attorneys on your divorce or child custody case. Contact Bluestein Johnson & Burke today!

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