Social Media and Divorce. Tread Lightly

WomanWithCaption_2Our apparent appetite for online communication and its ability to impact the outcome of a divorce makes it a timely and worthwhile topic. The guidelines aren’t as common-sense as you might think, so if you or someone you know is going through a divorce, please read this or pass it on:


No. 1. You’d be amazed at what can end up on Social Media. And you don’t have to be the one to post the picture! Anyone anywhere can take a picture of you and post it online. Just ask a teenager how easy it is to find pictures of yourself doing things you wouldn’t want the court to see. If you tell your Ex you can’t take the kids this weekend, know that he/she just might find the pics that you or somebody else posted of you knocking back drinks on your weekend at the beach and use them against you in court.

No. 2. Social Media and Drinking Don’t Mix. It’s unfortunate that computers don’t come with breathalyzers. Going through a divorce is almost always an emotional ordeal, and texting or posting on social media with lowered inhibitions can lead to Ex-bashing rants, divulging financial information, revealing past behavior, and broadcasting a host of other things that can be used against you in court. Just don’t do it!

No. 3. Don’t Delete the Stupid or Emotional Stuff You Previously Posted on Social Media. You have an obligation not to hide evidence. When you post nasty things about your Ex in an emotional moment, don’t think you can take them down later and get away with it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and the court can require you to cough it up, consider it against you, and can sanction you for the destruction of evidence.

No 4. Don’t Unfriend Your Soon To Be Ex on Facebook or Other Social Media. (This is tightly linked to point No. 3.) When you “unfriend” your soon to be Ex on Facebook or prevent them from following you on twitter or whatever social media you use, you are hiding evidence. The court will require you to restore your Ex’s friend status, giving him/her access to the very information you didn’t want them to have in the first place, which they will then use against you in court.

 

 

Courtroom Instincts Result in Speedy, Favorable Outcome

This is the third post in a three part series in which I highlight positive outcomes for cases that I’ve handled over the years and what you can learn from them. This is not a representation of the outcome in your particular case, but rather an explanation of what happened in these specific cases:


CWD_Gavel_Money_v6In a recent Family Law case, it became apparent that the judge was inclined to grant the opposing party a continuance to gather more evidence. This would mean putting my client through the expense of a contested hearing.

Both sides reviewed the mediator’s report, then I negotiated with the other parent to see if a mutual agreement could be reached now that both sides knew what the mediator had recommended. During negotiations, the other parent indicated that they wanted to end things that day. Knowing this, and sensing that they were concocting allegations with no evidence to back them up, I called their bluff and requested that the judge state reasons for ordering a contested hearing when neither side had requested one.

When the other parent confirmed that they had no additional evidence, the court had no choice but to render its decision immediately based only on the evidence we had presented. Our evidence, specifically designed to disprove the accusations the other parent had concocted without proof, led to a favorable outcome.

Talking to my client to learn about the other party’s tendencies, asking questions designed to elicit information from the other parent, and relying on good instincts, can make the difference between “short and sweet,” or long, drawn-out, expensive litigation. This was a case of taking a calculated risk, but experience, paying attention, and knowing how to read people made the difference.

Negotiations are more than just giving in or giving something up. Often, you can learn things that help while still in the fight. Negotiate when you can, and fight only when you must. But if you must fight, let us fight for you.

Coaching Father on Mediation Process Leads to Favorable Outcome.

This is the second post in a three part series in which I highlight positive outcomes for cases that I’ve handled over the years and what you can learn from them. This is not a representation of the outcome in your particular case, but rather an explanation of what happened in these specific cases:


Father Walking To School With Children On Way To Work

All custody cases must go through a mediation process in hopes the parents will settle their differences without a trial. Mediators are county employees tasked with hearing each side’s case and writing a report to the Judge based on the mediation session. Their recommendations carry tremendous weight. A Judge MUST: follow the mediator’s recommendation, or cite special circumstances or give good cause for doing something different.

Therefore, how a parent manages their mediation session can have far-reaching consequences.

In a recent case, all previous reports had been unfavorable to my client who was a Father seeking custody of his children. With my coaching, he received his first favorable report and was granted custody of his children during the school year.

Knowing how the system works, and learning how to present yourself can make all the difference. Let me show you how.

 

By | 2016-10-27T00:30:12+00:00 June 17th, 2016|Categories: Custody, Divorce, Family Law-General, Mediation|Tags: , |0 Comments

Client’s Ex Moved Their Child Out Of The County Without Giving Written Notice.

This is the first in a series of three posts in which I highlight positive outcomes for cases that I’ve handled over the years and what you can learn from them. This is not a representation of the outcome in your particular case, but rather an explanation of what happened in these specific cases:


Frank_Moving BoxI represented a mother whose Ex voluntarily took temporary custody of their child while she fled from an abusive situation with her new spouse. Once she was safe, however, her Ex refused to return the child to her.

This of course was not okay with my client. We were able to gain a positive outcome using a child custody law that runs something like this:

If you are going to move outside the county and take the children with you, you must give the other parent notice in writing and send that notice by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Failure to follow this rule makes a court less likely to permit you to take the children with you. Whether you give notice or not, you must prove that the move is in the children’s best interest.

Because the Father did not follow this rule when he moved to a new county, and because he failed to follow the previously agreed upon visitation plan, this put him in violation of the law. Because of this, I was able to persuade him to comply with the previously agreed upon visitation schedule, thereby avoiding litigation and its expense.

Negotiate when you can. Fight only when you must.