“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3 KJV

When his wife left him in 2010, Mr. Elonis turned to social media.  One of the less disturbing of many disturbing things he posted on Facebook was this:  “There’s only one way to love ya, but a thousand ways to kill ya.”

This, together with his other writings, earned him an indictment under federal law.  Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed his conviction.  The ruling turned on the level of intent necessary to convict under the law.

My point is a broader one.  People can say stupid and even dangerous things.  A 2010 survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that two-thirds of American lawyers say Facebook is the primary source of evidence used in divorce cases.

History relates that Abraham Lincoln did not act out of impulse.  After his death, unsent letters were found in his desk.  In other words, he would author a letter, place it in his desk drawer and later decide not to send it.  This behavior on Lincoln’s part served him well.

Unfortunately, email, text, and social media create a communication environment where reflection is not encouraged.  It is important for divorce clients to refrain from posting on social media.

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney