Monday, January 11, 2010

Is This a Trend? Publicizing Visitation Problems Online?

Some may notice that I am now on Twitter - there is a feed from my Twitter posts in the sidebar. Others may not know what is Twitter - I tend to think of it as online chat on steroids. People opt in to follow what one writes.

One person following me goes by the name of wiferevolution. And what does wiferevolution write about? The problems that their new husbands have in enforcing their visitation rights. Although just starting out, they have the potential to reach millions.

here we go with the ex and her exchange drama. Why can't she just obey #court orders. #fathers_rights #divorce #child_custody
So will publicity change how people behave? Maybe. I doubt that the ex-wives complained of in their tweets and on their blog will do anything to change their ways unless they get named. That means loss of wiferevolution's privacy.

Some day, someone will start naming names. Naming the parties, the lawyers, the judges and so on. Yes, that will move the tawdriness and the fighting out of the relative anonymity of the real world into the openness of the Internet. I can see a great deal of ugliness, probably some defamation litigation, but maybe also some benefits in that people will start thinking more about their behavior. No, it will not be cure all - some people will not care what anyone thinks.

As I write this, I have in mind a case coming up later this week. Opposing counsel and I have made every effort to get the mother to follow the visitation order. The parties agreed to mediation and everything went fine - for about a week. Saying my client is terribly frustrated is an understatement. His frustration only compounds my own - until a judge finally hears the case, there is nothing more for me to do. The idea that publicity would shame her into better behavior appeals to me. I suspect that wiferevolution finds writing about the ex-wife problems releases some of the frustration. I think that my client would find the same release, through a similar outlet, if he had the time.

1 comment:

Jeanne M. Hannah said...

Sam, I agree with your comments about how people are using the Internet to publicize domestic squabbles. In fact, I wrote a blog article titled "Where are the common decency police when you really need them?" This article discusses some of the various ways folks have used the Internet, including YouTube, to discuss publicly -- using real names -- some of their domestic disturbances.

You can read it here.

I see some real privacy issues here, as I described in the article about Krasnansky's blog.