By now, we are all familiar with the various ways that the government has encouraged us to be safe and practice safe habits regarding the coronavirus. Most of them involve doing things like social distancing, mask-wearing, and washing our hands. With the new sport, for the most part, these are relatively simple habits that are supposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus while vaccines and other types of treatment are developed in the meantime. Whether or not they can be seen as long-term solutions to these problems is Anyone’s guess.
One of the more controversial methods of limiting the spread of the virus is the various stay-at-home or lockdown orders prescribed by many nations and states towards the beginning of the pandemic. To keep the most number of people safe and to limit the spread of the virus, we were told only to leave home for essential things; it does not socializetside with our immediate family circle. Various nations worldwide saw fit to enforce these state home orders more stringently than we had, but it seems that many people in Texas and around the United States listen to these recommendations.
We can see that from mobility studies that show that people became much less active or mobile after the virus became an issue for us in the United States during the beginning parts of March. Office buildings closed, and individual employers decided to have their employees work remotely as much as possible to stem the tide of the virus. We are all familiar with the different slogans that were created for us to get behind these efforts. Flatten the curve, 15 days to slow the spread, stay home and safe, and many others became part of our lexicon. Rather than take A chance on getting yourself sick or someone around you sick, it was better for you to stay home; it had been believed.
Now we see some degree of pushback as it pertains to so-called lockdown orders. We are now witnessing experts in epidemiology state that lockdowns are not the preferred method of slowing the spread of a virus. On the contrary, we see that various efforts to lock down different countries have not been effective at limiting the virus’s spread. I am not attempting to give you medical advice or tell you how to respond to the threat of this virus. Still, I’m merely relaying what I have come to learn about the different responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the other hand, if you had been infected with the virus, then it is likely that you were told to remain in isolation to avoid getting Anyone else sick. As a result, you may have gone into self-quarantine to make sure that you recuperated from the virus without exposing Anyone else to the virus. This would seem to be a reasonable response given that if you have had a positive coronavirus test in the past few days, it will make sense to limit who you expose yourself to, if Anyone.
I can only imagine this self-quarantine yourself has to take a great deal of discipline. Most of us reading this blog post are not accustomed to limiting our mobility to one room in the house and not having any contact with other people. Although technology certainly helps when it comes to interacting with other people, even if we are ill, the fact remains that human beings need a person-to-person interaction to thrive as we are very social creatures. While technology can help overcome these limitations quickly, I think people generally need person-to-person contact more than we would ever have guessed previously.
I think that is one of the significant lessons that have begun to hit home for me and many others during this pandemic. Wants these restrictions begin to go away as the pandemic subsides, whenever that may be, I don’t think any of us will ever take for granted the ability to socialize and communicate with other people. The simplest forms of communication and interaction have been taken away from us by the virus and our government’s response to it. As a result, a significant part of our lives has been taken away.
With that said, I always do my best to look at a situation with a glass half whole mentality. How can I take an otherwise undesirable problem and make the best out of it? Is there a silver lining to this massive Gray cloud that has been hanging over our heads now for almost a year? I think the answer to that question is yes. While social distancing and a very long run are probably not something that will work out for us and our social and mental health, I think that quarantining and self-isolating during this time. It can work out well for us in limited circumstances. This is an addition to any medical benefit that it may provide us as far as limiting the spread of the virus.
Specifically, I am thinking about self-quarantining from the perspective of a person who is going through a divorce. If you are going through a divorce and are currently self-quarantining, then you may have stumbled upon a circumstance that may be to your advantage. In today’s blog post, I will share with you some of my thoughts on this subject, and we’ll discuss how I think a self-quarantine during your divorce may not be the worst thing in the world, at least from the perspective of your divorce case.
How could a self-quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic benefit your divorce?
Your divorce is up and running; it isn’t much you can do to benefit your case. Let me explain that a little bit more. Many parents think, for example, that if they only were to begin parenting at warp speed and taking on responsibilities that they had never had before, a few months of really intense parenting can make up for years of LAX parenting. I see this a lot with both mothers and fathers who have taken a laissez Faire approach to parents in their pre-divorce years and are now taking an overly involved track on parenting to impress a hypothetical family court judge.
The truth is that a judge can see through these sorts of actions just as quickly as your spouse. Nobody is going to be fooled by a Johnny come lately parent in a divorce case. Do not be surprised that your family law attorney advises you to take a more reasonable approach to your goals when it comes to child custody than he might have checked in. You cannot make up for lost time once the divorce case begins, but you can harm your divorce case by actions that you take during the stages of your divorce.
The first place I look whenever I am thinking about a client who has the possibility of harming their divorce case is concerning social media. For the most part, we treat social media like it is just another activity we engage in, like walking the dog or taking our kids to the park. At this stage, in 2020, we don’t even think twice about posting photographs, updates in our lives, and even our political leanings on social media to what we emotionally perceive to be our close friend group. In actuality, our reach on social media goes well beyond our close friend group and even our acquaintances that can access our information on the Internet.
When we post things online, we leave an indelible mark on the Internet of our daily lives and the things we do. If all we post tasty recipes and updates about our pets, this probably isn’t that big of a deal. Think about what our parents and grandparents may use the Internet for. If the updates on social media tend to be about family reunions and other innocuous things like that, then you probably don’t have to worry about these activities.
On the other hand, I have been an attorney on both sides regarding people using social media badly. I do not mean bad in the sense that I am judging any of these people. Still, I mean badly because I have seen how social media postings can go wrong for certain people. After all, they were not careful with how they treated their online activities. What may seem to be a completely harmless posting on Facebook or Instagram may end up being costly to your divorce as the consequences of the photo more update that you post.
For instance, what if you recently started dating someone from your office immediately after the beginning of your divorce? While you may not feel that there is any moral issue with doing so, and if the person does not have contact with your spouse or children, it may have a minimal effect on your family. However, that does not mean that your spouse cannot use information about this person that they learn on the Internet against you in the case. The reason is that your actions in the divorce will be heavily scrutinized regarding who you are spending your time with and their impact on your case.
Think about how a specific action that you take, if photographed, could end up changing the course of your life or your divorce. It is impossible to argue that a single event from your life can help to describe all of your actions and motivations in every other area of your life. I mean by this is a single photograph with a person you may be in a relationship with cannot possibly tell a judge or your spouse everything they need to know about how you view your children in the importance of responsible behavior during a divorce case. The things we do in our personal lives have consequences; however, deciding to date another person at the beginning of your divorce is a risky move. It is even more dangerous to publish your relationship online.
So, if your spouse wants to argue that you are causing the downfall of your marriage by having an adulterous affair, then a photograph from Facebook would seem to be an excellent place to build an argument. From experience, so much of a case is built on hearsay and unverified reports but never actually turns out to be true. The initial conversations that I have with an opposing attorney turn out to be highly overblown and sensationalized most of the time. This is because the attorney only had their client’s input about the case, and once they learn more about both sides of the story from me, it is often when we can get down to business and begin to negotiate in earnest.
When a case can get out of hand initially, your spouse can provide their attorney with details about your personal life that can negatively impact your case and then provide photographs or other types of evidence to substantiate what they are saying about you. Posting pictures or additional information online to your social media gives them a great deal of ammunition to use against you. One of the first things an attorney will do once they sign up for divorce cases is research the opposing party and see if anything online is usable as evidence. Your attorney will do this for your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney will do this for you.
Simply putting something up on the Internet is enough to sync your case or at least puts you in a position where your patient is seriously harmed. The last thing you want in a divorce is to battle from behind and constantly beyond the defensive about your actions and what you have done in your past. While beginning the dating process may not be the worst thing in the world before your divorce ends, it certainly is not something that any family law attorney recommends.
Additionally, photographs or postings about alcohol use, drug use, or anything else like this may be enough to change the case’s outcome. Yes, there is nothing illegal about you having a few drinks in a responsible setting on the weekend or something like that. However, a photograph of you having a few beers on the same day that you are four years old almost drowned in a swimming pool in the backyard can be argued to show that you are irresponsible to a degree or at the very least untrustworthy when it comes to becoming the primary conservator of your children.
Is this fair? Probably not. Is life fair? We all know the answer to that question. Your actions have consequences, and your activities within a divorce case have implications as well. What I recommend to clients all the time is to go through your social media before you get a divorce and begin to look for photographs and other postings that could be particularly damaging to your divorce case. While you may not be able to delete these postings during a divorce, there is typically nothing wrong with doing so before the divorce begins. You can also start to turn your profile private so that you and only people you choose can view your profile and the things that you post online.
In other words, a self-quarantine or government-mandated lockdown is not always essential to manage certain aspects of your case. I’m doing my best to find a silver lining to this component of our lives right now, but the truth is if you take a break from social media and read a good book instead of posting online, then you will likely improve the trajectory of your divorce case. It does take some willpower, but the benefit in the short and long term can be Immeasurable.
Questions about the material presented in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material presented in today’s blog post. Please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. We appreciate your interest in our law office and look forward to the opportunity to serve you and your family in the future.