If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Then …

We all remember teachers, parents, and afterschool specials reminding us that if we didn’t have anything nice to say, it was better not to say anything at all.  This advice, while good to remember in life generally, is especially important whenever you are involved in litigation – particularly domestic litigation.  Domestic litigation (such as divorce, custody disputes, legitimation etc.) is unique because, unlike other areas of the law, just about anything and everything you say (OR WRITE) can, and most likely will, be used against you.  This is because the issues at dispute are the character, behavior, and actions of each party.  This is problematic because such cases are often wrought with emotion and by their very nature are immensely personal.  With today’s technology it takes just seconds to blast off an email or a text message containing a snide comment, or to angrily post on Facebook or Twitter.  But before you hit “send” or “enter” try to take a moment and imagine having whatever you are about to send or post, read out loud in a courtroom, taken down by a court reporter for posterity, or blown up  and pasted on a 3’x 3′ poster board as a piece of evidence.  If it is not something you would want repeated in that setting: DO NOT SAY (or SEND) IT to your signaificant other!   It will be far better for you in the long run…and it will make your fourth grade teacher proud.