If you can’t say anything nice
Emotions run high in a divorce. Studies show that a divorce is one of the most stressful events you will undergo during the course of your life. And especially if you are the aggrieved party, it is natural for you to defend yourself when you are attacked, and perhaps you will feel the need to do so, in writing. But your spouse may try to use your words against you.
If you say something in a text, or in an email, or in a social media post, your comments can be printed, attached to a petition or motion, and brought to a judge’s attention. Of course, we all say things we regret, but your spouse may try to use your words against you even if your words need to be taken out of context in order to make his or her point.
Silence is golden
Why give your spouse ammunition? If you are divorcing due to a high conflict relationship – and surprisingly this is not always the case in a divorce – then do not say anything at all. Let your lawyer do the talking for you. If is far better to let your attorney be “the bad guy” than to do it yourself. Judges are people like anybody else. Do not put yourself in a position where the judge makes decisions adverse to your position because of the judge’s impression of the kind of person you are.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
If you have to communicate when you are defending yourself or when you are angry, then your words should be as bland as possible. Say only what you need to say, and nothing more. It might even be worth starting off with letting your attorney take a look at what you are going to say in advance. Your attorney has a much better sense of what a judge will think of your comments than you do.