By now, we are all familiar with the various ways that the government has encouraged us to be safe and practice safe habits in regard to 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 fairly 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 are the various stay at home or lock down orders that were prescribed by many nations and states towards the beginning of the pandemic. In order to keep the most amount of people safe and to limit the spread of the virus we were told to only leave the home for essential things it is certainly not do any socializing outside of our immediate family circle. Various nations around the world 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 any issue for us in the United States during the beginning parts of March. Office buildings closed and individual employers made the decision to have their employees work remotely as much as possible in order 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 stay 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're seeing some degree of pushback as it pertains to so-called lockdown orders. We are now seeing experts in the field of epidemiology state that lockdowns are not the preferred method of slowing the spread of a virus. On the contrary, we see that throughout the world various efforts to lock down different countries have not been effective at limiting the spread of the virus at all. I am not attempting to give you medical advice or to tell you how to respond to the threat of this virus but 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 in order to avoid getting anyone else sick. As a result, you may have gone into self-quarantine in order 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 a positive coronavirus tests in the past few days it would 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 too 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 person to person interactions in order to thrive as we are very social creatures. While technology can help to overcome these limitations in a short period of time, I think people generally speaking need person to person contact more than we would ever have guessed previously.
I think that is one of the major 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 major part of our lives has been taken away.
With that said, I always do my best look at a situation with a glass half full mentality. How can I take a situation that is otherwise undesirable and make the best out of it? Is there a silver lining to this humongous Gray cloud that is being 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 is probably not something that will work out for us and are social and mental health, I do think that quarantining and self-isolating during this time. 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 am going to 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?
What's your divorce is up and running there isn't really 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 that 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 parenting in their pre divorce years and are now taking an overly involved track on parenting in order to impress a hypothetical family court judge.
The truth is that a judge can see through these sort of actions just as easily 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 too your goals when it comes to child custody then he might have check in. You cannot make up for lost time once the divorce cases begun 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 in regard to social media. For the most part, we treat social media like it is just another activity that 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.
What we actually do when we post things online is we leave in indelible mark on the Internet of our daily life and the things we do. If all we are doing is posting tasty recipes and updates about our pets, then 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 do really don't have to worry about these activities.
On the other hand, I have been an attorney on both sides of this issue when it comes to people using social media badly. I do not mean badly in the sense that I am judging any of these people but I do mean badly in the sense that I have seen how social media postings can go bad for certain people because 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 do too 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 really have a minimal effect on your family. However, that does not mean that your spouse cannot use information about this person that he or she learns on the Internet against you in the case. The reason being that your actions in the divorce are going to be heavily scrutinized in regard to who you are spending your time with and what his or her impact on your case can be.
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. What I mean by this is a single photograph with a person that you may be in a relationship with cannot possibly tell a judge or your spouse everything that he or she needs 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 and it is even more risky to publish your relationship online.
So, if your spouse wants to make an argument that you are causing the downfall of your marriage by having an adulterous affair then a photograph from Facebook would seem to be a good place to build an argument. From experience, so much of a case is built on hearsay and unverified reports but never actually turn out to be true. The initial conversations that I have with an opposing attorney turn out to be extremely overblown and sensationalized most of the time. This is because the attorney is only had their own clients input about the case and once he or she learns more about both sides of the story from me it is often times at that is when we can get down to business and begin to negotiate in earnest.
When a case can get out of hand at the beginning is when your spouse can provide their attorney with details about your personal life that can negatively impact your case and then can provide photographs or other types of evidence to substantiate what he or she is saying about you. By posting photographs or other information online to your social media that gives him or her a great deal of ammunition to use against you. One of the first things an attorney will do once they sign up at divorce cases to research the opposing party and see if anything online is usable as far 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 too sync your case or at least puts you in a position where your case is seriously harmed. The last thing you want in a divorce is to have to battle from behind and constantly beyond the defensive about your actions and the things 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 is recommended by any family law attorney.
Additionally, photographs or postings about alcohol use, drug use or anything else like this maybe enough to change the outcome of the case. Yes, there is nothing illegal about you having a few drinks in a responsible setting on a weekend or something like that. However, a photograph of you having a few beers on the same day that your 4 year 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 actions within a divorce case have consequences 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 begin to turn your profile to 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 simply 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.