A divorce is an emotionally taxing and highly stressful time in your life. It’s natural to want to vent to your friends and family members about the divorce process itself, or even about your ex. But speaking to others about your divorce can have negative consequences for you during your divorce proceedings. What you might think of as an innocent way to let off some steam, your ex might be able to use against you. Keep reading to learn more.
It Could Be Considered Defamation
When things get heated during divorce proceedings, you may say a few things in anger and frustration that aren’t entirely true. Inside the courtroom, you’re protected from charges of defamation; but if you make a false statement to someone outside the courtroom, you could find yourself facing a defamation lawsuit in addition to your divorce proceedings.
While you might not think that you would intentionally spread falsehoods about your ex to harm their character, sometimes, your emotions can run away with you in a divorce. You may exaggerate something your ex did or speculate about their behavior in a way that implies you’re stating a fact. If these statements come to light, you could suffer serious consequences.
It Could Harm Your Children
Divorces are always more emotional when children are involved, but no matter how angry or frustrated you become with your ex, it’s important to remember that they are your children’s parent too. If you need to talk about the divorce, you should never be doing so in front of your children. They are going through enough emotional stress already and facing major changes to their lives; they don’t need to shoulder your troubles as well as their own.
Additionally, you should always be mindful of what you say about your ex around your children. Many divorce agreements include a requirement to not speak negatively about the children’s other parent in front of them, and this is a policy you should stick to throughout the divorce proceedings as well. Regardless of what your relationship with your ex may be like, you shouldn’t allow your personal feelings to impact your children’s relationship with their parent.
It Could Impact Your Case
There are so many factors involved in a divorce that it can be difficult to know exactly what statements will have an impact on your case. Speaking about the financial aspects of your divorce, your relationship with your ex, and virtually any other facet of your divorce proceedings could have repercussions in the courtroom.
For example, perhaps you and your attorney are discussing how to ensure that you receive a certain piece of artwork that has great sentimental value to you, but you haven’t brought this item up in your negotiations yet. You speak to a mutual friend about this art piece, and its importance to you makes its way back to your ex. Your ex may then use this information against you, taking a harder line in negotiations because they know how much it means to you. Even the smallest, most innocent of discussions about your divorce can have consequences.
At the very least, making hateful statements about your ex can make them more antagonistic and less willing to compromise during the divorce proceedings. It is always better to proceed as civilly as possible, and this is difficult to do if your ex discovers you’ve been complaining about them to others.
It Can Hurt Your Ex
When you’re angry, you might not think that you’ll care about your words harming your ex in any way. But when emotions begin to settle, that feeling can change, and you might find yourself regretting what you told others about your divorce proceedings. People are rarely on their best behavior during a divorce, and sharing the intimate details of what your ex said or did when they were at their worst can cause friends and family members to make much broader assumptions about their character. Those assumptions can permanently harm your ex’s relationship with people they care about.
This can be an especially big problem if you maintain a relationship with your ex after the divorce in any form—most particularly if you share custody of your children. The things you say during your divorce don’t go away when the ink dries on your divorce decree, and the harm they cause can be long-lasting.
If you’re going through a divorce and need to vent about your ex or the process itself, we recommend speaking to a therapist or even simply talking to your attorney. We’re willing to listen and allow you to relieve some of the stress of this process as we guide you through it. Contact us today for the support you need throughout your divorce.