How the Internet Can be Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy During Divorce
Today we can go online for everything from ordering groceries to attending doctor’s appointments. Further, when we have questions about practically anything, we have 24/7 access to the internet for information. While it may be helpful to go online, there can also be times when doing so adds stress to our lives. If you are going through a divorce, you will probably have many questions and uncertainties that may lead you to internet research. But not all digital resources are created equal, and some online information can hinder rather than help you and your case. Here is more on how the internet can be your best friend and your worst enemy during divorce:
Your Friend the Internet
You May Find Validation
When you are divorcing, it can feel as if your life has been turned upside down. As your case proceeds, you can experience an array of painful emotions that distort your perceptions. At the same time, you have to try and think logically and make choices that can impact you for years to come. At times like these, you may feel the need to conduct a Google search to determine if your reactions and decisions are similar to others in your situation. Depending on what you find, you may feel validated by reading articles and reviewing posts by others in similar circumstances.
You May Find Helpful Resources
Looking to the internet with questions about divorce may help you connect with helpful resources. The right kind of search may lead to supportive websites designed for people in your situation. Looking online for local resources may yield details about divorce support groups and the names of local therapists who specialize in helping people during these types of transitions.
You May Find Your Support System
The internet may help you locate supportive online forums that are designed to help you connect with others. You can also use your existing social media accounts to identify loved ones you can rely upon for friendship and support. Having a positive support system can help you feel understood and less isolated. Additionally, hearing the outside viewpoint of a trusted friend may also help you maintain perspective during emotionally challenging times.
Your Enemy the Internet
While the internet can be a great therapeutic and social resource, it can also be full of misinformation and bad advice. Someone who wants to look for ways to complicate an already complex situation such as divorce can easily do so by being careless with the world wide web. Here are just a few ways that the internet can be an enemy during your divorce:
Mistaking online searches for legal advice
Divorce can be an intensely emotional process, and it's not uncommon for people to vent about their experiences online. To that end, one can easily find "legal" commentary by non-lawyers about how a divorce case is supposed to operate. No matter how well-intended, layperson commentary about divorce law is never an adequate substitute for the advice of counsel. Further, following these comments rather than seeking the advice of an attorney could be detrimental to your case. Divorce is a legal process that involves numerous complex laws and procedures. It also has its own unique culture and processes. An experienced Wisconsin family attorney knows the law, procedures, and nuances and understands how they interplay during the divorce process.
Posting regrettable comments and images on social media
Going on social media during divorce can be a blessing and a curse (but it’s mostly a curse.) Posting details about the divorce is never a good idea. Not only can these actions generate more hostility and conflict between you and your ex, but they could also end up being used against you in court. It's also important to know that your private posts may not be as private as you think, and you can't control who prints copies of them. To that end, your ex's attorney can introduce your social media posts into evidence during your case.
Looking at disturbing or frightening content
Looking at your ex's posts during the case can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can look at whether they are posting improper comments or content. On the other, it can be painful to see how they are spending their time without you. Be judicious about how much time you devote to reviewing your ex's social media content and make sure it’s for the right reasons.
Conducting any search on the internet can take you down a rabbit hole of information. You may go looking for pages concerning divorces that resemble yours and find horror stories. The problem with these stories is that these accounts may or may not be accurate. Further, they often fail to include several important factors that can impact case outcomes. For instance, you may read a post by a parent who seems to have been unfairly denied custodial rights and visits with their children. That same parent may be neglecting to mention that they endangered their children. Without context and all of the information, it can be challenging to discern what is truth and what has been embellished. If you have concerns, it's generally not a good idea to go online and frighten yourself. A better course of action is to contact your Wisconsin family law attorney. Your counsel can review the facts of your case and address your concerns with you.
Wisconsin Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience assisting clients during and after divorce and can help you evaluate your case, connect with helpful resources, and determine your next steps. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.