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DivorceWhen a Party to Divorce Blogs . . . .

April 18, 2008

Following up on yesterday’s post about disgruntled spouses airing their dirty laundry on the internet, the front page of the New York Times featured the article When the Ex Blogs, the Dirtiest Laundry Is Aired.

According to the article, it is now fairly common to write a blog about your divorce.

It is impossible to say just how many people are blogging about divorce, but the percentage of Internet users with personal blogs has quadrupled in five years, according to Pew. Mary Madden, a senior researcher with the Pew Project who specializes in online relationships, said that in emotionally charged times, some people go to the Web.

Since one person’s truth may be shaded by hurt, anger, betrayal or just a desire to seek revenge, it is no shock that some aggrieved spouses have gone to court to stop the publication of the blogs.
Absent a confidentiality clause or other provision limiting the right to discuss the divorce or marriage, the blogger may enjoy a first amendment freedom of speech.

But, as one court recently pointed out, While Laurie’s statements may be covered by the First Amendment, they were “ill-advised and do not promote co-parenting.”

I suspect there would be little dispute, particularly when there are children, that parties should not post information about their spouses’ personal failings and short-comings on the internet where the writings can easily be found.   While writing all the your thoughts and feeling may be therapeutic, maybe all the thoughts should be contained in, to quote the Moody Blues, “letters are written, never meaning to send.”

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