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Romantic Proposal Turns into Harassment Charges Between Former Lovers

divorce-thumb-275x180-14417.jpgIt's amazing how quickly a romantic marriage proposal aboard a loved one's yacht can sink into a morass of reprisals these days.

What caused the dramatic turn of events in this seemingly storybook tale of two star-crossed lovers?

I can answer that question with just one eight-letter word: Facebook.

The nasty voicemail messages didn't help either.

Storybook Marriage Ends in Bitter Divorce

After the proposal, the couple married, moved to a home worth $2 million and had two children.

It was as much a fairytale affair as any story you'd find in a book. The thrill lasted just three years.

Several years following the dramatic proposal, Max Walker filed a restraining order against Rebecca Vowles for calling him a fraudster - among other monikers - on Facebook.

Rebecca also pleaded guilty to harassment for her social media posts and nasty voicemail messages.

In a series of voicemail messages, Rebecca had accused her husband of foul play and questioned his parenting skills. She also accused her husband and his business partner of misdeeds and called Max a lying scumbag.

Her recriminations didn't stop there. She called him more names and made additional accusations against him on the phone.

Then she turned up the volume on her verbal assaults and continued her rants on Facebook.

Max retaliated by calling Rebecca's workplace and complaining that she was an alcoholic and suffered from mental health issues.

In the end, Rebecca pleaded guilty to harassment without violence. Included in her restraining order is a provision that she can no longer post derogatory remarks about her ex-husband on social media networks.

Never Disparage Your Spouse on Social Media

What can you learn from this example?

It's nearly impossible to erase anything you post publicly on social media once it's incorporated into Internet searches.

Even if you share information about your ex-spouse to your list of friends, the information will still get out publicly. A friend will tell another, or a friend might share your post publicly and before you know it, your ex-husband is coming after you with a restraining order and claims of harassment.

There now exists a growing industry of professionals who scour the Internet for lawyers. They are looking for libelous statements, accusations, and false assertions.

Lawyers then use that evidence in court proceedings.

How likely would a judge award child custody to you if she were to discover that you called your ex-husband a weasel and worse on Facebook? Wouldn't that post speak to your credibility and ability to control your anger?

In the above case, Rebecca posted the information about her ex-husband to her list of friends. She didn't make the status update public.

Word leaked anyway, and now she has a harassment conviction on her record.

During your divorce - and as soon as problems arise in your marriage - take a technology break. Tell your friends you are taking a break to focus more on your children or your personal wellbeing.

When you're depressed, angry or have had a glass of wine, it's easier to say something you'll regret for months to come

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