Naked Pictures??? Yikes!
In a Courthouse battle over the terms of a divorce or any form of custody litigation, anything might happen. Nothing that was done in private is likely to stay private.
Divorce court cases and custody cases are one step short of all out warfare and … it is a small step. If you and your spouse or ex-spouse engage in courthouse battles, do not expect anything to be off the table. A litigant who sees themselves as fighting for their children is unlikely to hold anything back, despite promises to the contrary. Also, remember, you are in a courtroom battle with someone who likely knows your innermost secrets.
I am using naked pictures as an example but other examples include … details of sexual conduct, confessions of past criminal or irrational behavior, details of betrayals long since forgotten by the betrayed, every bad thing you have ever said about your family, including complaints about your parents treatment of you, medical records, discussions in front of a therapist, statements you made about your sister’s divorce and affairs, and the like.
This, public revelation of normally and previously private matters, is one of the reasons that these cases are better off resolved in private. Once this type of stuff is used in litigation, it is hard to expect much cooperation in child rearing over the next few years. But, lots of time, these things are used in order to leverage a case, or as an attempt for one side to prevail. Let me illustrate:
- Husband and wife are divorcing, the husband uses the wife’s secret college affair with her now bother-in-law to get a lower child support amount.
- Husband and wife are divorcing, the wife uses questionable expense account reporting by the husband at work to threaten his employment if the husband insists on seeing the kids every week.
- Mother and Father have been divorced for a while; Mother threatens to “post” photos of ex dressed as a woman. Father is a distinguished member of a local church. Mother insists that father must allow her to move 600 miles away with the children, or else.
- Wife testifies she is afraid of Husband’s temper. Husband enters naked pictures of wife sent in a text message, in a happier time into evidence to show she was never afraid. The pictures are passed from Juror to Juror as wife sits and cries.
- And … so on.
I would like to tell you I am kidding … but each of the above is a real-life example. So, what do you do? Here is the general plan, try if possible, to settle without all out courthouse warfare. If you do have to have a highly contested trial, man up or woman up as the case may be.
Although each of these items would feel humiliating in a courthouse setting, I can assure you everyone has some dirty laundry. You are not the only one with these types of “private” or “secret” items. The strategy for the case is still … always do what is best for your kids and insist on being treated fairly. If you give in to “blackmail” now you can expect more latter.
If you are afraid these items will be used against you or your kids during a divorce or custody battle, I suggest you consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you, if you already have an attorney … tell him or her the secret and the concerns you have. You need expert advice and your attorney needs to figure out how to handle these items. Courthouse surprises to your attorney are the last thing you need.
One last thought on naked pictures, if you don’t what them used against you or published on the internet, or passed around … don’t take them … EVER!