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Pressing 'send' can change the way your divorce is negotiated

Maybe this has happened to you. You've just completed an email or a text message, sent it to the recipient, and you immediately have a bad feeling that you've made a mistake. Communication technology is great, but once a message is out there, it may be impossible to retract.

Texas spouses going through a contentious divorce should keep that in mind. It is not uncommon these days for text messages, emails, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets to show up as evidence in court. Then, again, depending on your situation, documented correspondence of a child custody or marital dispute could be a good thing. Let's consider some possible scenarios.

Maybe a husband claims he can't pay the alimony his wife is asking for. That claim could be invalidated by a picture on Facebook of the husband's new sports car.

Or maybe divorcing spouses can't agree on child custody arrangements. A series of threatening or harassing text messages could serve as evidence that one spouse isn't as fit as the other for the physical custody of a child. Maybe the messages are so bad that a protective order is needed.

Property division could also be affected by social media evidence. (We've written before about the possibility of one spouse hiding assets from the other.) Maybe a congratulatory Facebook post from a friend is the clue that one spouse got a raise or a higher-paying job that hasn't been mentioned in divorce negotiations.

In any case, Texans going through divorce may want to adjust their privacy settings and count to 10 before pressing "send."

Source: Forbes, "How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce," Jeff Landers, Aug. 20, 2013

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