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To state the obvious

11686437_S.jpgDivorce is a court proceeding. This means that on occasion, you may have to appear in court. And even when you are not appearing in court, you have to understand that once you begin a divorce, your conduct and behavior is going to be under a microscope.

Most individuals are neither used to this level of scrutiny nor are the comfortable with this type of examination. If you have ever been pulled over for speeding or any other traffic infraction, you know how uncomfortable you feel as the officer steps up to your window. Now imagine sitting in the witness chair in court, having to explain to a judge and anyone else present some indiscretion or example of less-than-ideal behavior.

If you are involved in a difficult divorce, if your spouse may be "challenging" and likely to want to dispute many of the elements of a divorce, you need to understand that for the remainder of the divorce, you must be on your best behavior.

This may mean that you skip having a few drinks at a restaurant or bar with your friends if you will have to drive yourself home. It may mean your relationship with social media, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and anything else, including email, should change.

While police officers may warn you after an arrest that "anything you say can and will be used against you," your spouse's attorney won't issue any warning, but they will be looking for anything and everything you may have said, posted or tweeted.

Outside of divorce, much of this conduct may be ignored or dismissed. But words written in a frustrated state or a picture posted may look very different on a projected screen in a Columbia courtroom, with your spouse's attorney describing a context that makes that stupid or inadvertent comment or picture seem like the key to your character.

Don't give them that opportunity. It may be difficult, but just stopping will be far easier than attempting to explain away material that makes a judge consider you less credible, honest or competent.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Adulting 101: Divorce Edition," Christina Pesoli, May 31, 2016

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