DIVORCE AND THE INTERNET

When you are considering a divorce, the Internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  It gives people the chance to research the law, but also a place to put your foot in your mouth, and complicate divorce litigation.  This guide will show you how to use the Internet to help yourself, and avoid any obstacles or hazards.

Legal Research

As more people used computers, the Arizona legal system recognized this trend and made websites a part of the legal system.  Many county courts provide online forms, and guides to the dissolution of marriage. There are many good guides to Arizona divorce law, with explanations of the procedures, rules and regulations.

Remember, unless you have a basic, uncontested divorce, you should find a good divorce attorney.  Even if you have legal training, or education, people can’t really be objective about their own divorce.  Doctors do not treat themselves, and most people are not qualified to handle their own divorces.  With the Internet, it is easy to find two or three lawyers, and schedule a consultation with them. Of course you will choose to work with Modern Law!

Be Careful Out There

A basic Google search reveals many ‘Do It Yourself” Arizona guides.  They charge a small fee, and promise you a swift, uncontested dissolution of your marriage.  Remember there are two parties to a divorce—the Petitioner and the Respondent.  You, if you file a Petition for Dissolution (“divorce”) must wait 20 days (30 days if they live outside Arizona) for the Respondent to reply, and there is no guarantee that they will not contest the proceeding.  Once they contest the divorce, you probably need a lawyer to handle any disputes.  With a lawyer filing the petition, you know an professional, with a support staff is handling every step of the process.

Remember, a DIY site cannot guarantee an uncontested divorce, and won’t give you much help should the Respondent file an objection or dispute your claims.

Become Antisocial

Social Media may offer you comfort during a divorce, but you may give the other side ammunition for any hearing.  It may feel good to go out and party with friends, and post photos of the party on Facebook, or Pinterest, but the other party’s lawyer will be searching the Internet for any proof to challenge your claim to child custody or support. Here are a few pointers:

§  Don’t post embarrassing, explicit selfies, or photographs.  Let Miley Cyrus make a fool of herself—you aren’t Miley Cyrus.

§  Never post anything about legal proceedings.  You’re just giving the other side more evidence to impeach your credibility.  “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  The judge won’t take your claim for spousal support too seriously if you wrote “I’m taking that #### for every penny”.

Sometimes, social media brings out the worst in otherwise responsible adults.  One judge tried to ‘friend’ a divorce litigant.  Save yourself a great deal of trouble, and don’t go on social media.