South Carolina separation or divorce: What NOT to do

By Elizabeth Smith Owen

When family law litigation is ongoing or being anticipated, tension runs high and too often emotions, rather than intellect, control the actions of litigants.  An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can bring a sense of professional clarity to an emotionally difficult time.  Therefore, it is incredibly important to seek the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

After consulting an attorney, there are many things to consider and do prior to your separation or divorce.  Although it is important to consider the many “to dos,” it is also incredibly important to remember the “NOT to dos” during or prior to family law litigation.

If you are contemplating separation or divorce, or you find yourself in a child custody dispute, the following behaviors and actions are NOT helpful, and are too often hurtful to your case.

  • Do NOT leave angry or overly emotional messages on the voicemail of your spouse or your child’s father or mother. Keep voicemail messages short, professional, and to the point.
  • Do NOT send angry, overly emotional or very descriptive text messages to your spouse, or to the father or mother of your child. Again, keep all communication short, business-like, and to the point.
  • Do NOT post messages or status updates to social media regarding your marital difficulties or the difficulties you may be experiencing with your child’s father or mother, regardless of the privacy settings on your social media platforms. Completely refraining from posting messages and status updates on family law litigation is the best policy.
  • During family law litigation, or if anticipating litigation, a good rule of thumb is to NOT say anything in person, on voicemail, in e-mail, text messages, instant messages, or on social media that you would not say in front of a judge in open court, and on the record with a court reporter.
  • Do NOT make disparaging comments to your child(ren) about his/her mother or father.
  • Abstain from the use of illegal drugs and the heavy consumption of alcohol.

The family law attorneys at Morton & Gettys realize family law issues are more than legal issues.  Matters relating to domestic disputes and family law are highly personal matters that are challenging, emotional, and very stressful.  Our job is to guide our clients through these emotional times and assist them with the professional dissolution of their marriage or resolution of their domestic dispute while zealously advocating for their interests and the best interests of their children.

Elizabeth Smith Own is partner at Morton & Gettys Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC.  Her practice focuses primarily on family law, education law and personal injury.

Information or interaction on this page should not be construed as establishing a client-attorney relationship or as legal advice. For advice about your specific situation, please consult one of our attorneys.