Category: Family Law

Electronic Communications and Divorce

January 21, 2013  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Almost everyone has gotten used to sharing most of their lives online, but it can be a bad idea during a divorce. Increasingly, text messages, emails, and social media data are winding up in front of judges as evidence. For example, the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers reported in 2012 that 94{a0c01d20c42349884e67ff80c137866b0a9fe47aaae8f8a86a605a369ae487c3} of them had seen text messages used as evidence. Often, clients don’t even realize how much they’re giving away when they use these mediums, especially social media. Remember, if you put it out there online it is fair game and often not as private as you think it is. You should also remember that you don’t always have control over what goes out there. If your friend snaps a picture of you with a big beer in your hand, posts it online, and tags you, then you often have little recourse to get it removed. Here are some examples of the types of social media evidence which could impact your divorce case, especially in custody battles : photos of alcohol and drug use; photos of your kids in inappropriate places; discussions of your new boyfriend or girlfriend; evidence that you had overnight dates while the children were staying with you; vengeful or threatening comments; activities which violate your divorce order; information…

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Elder and Adult Family Mediation

March 20, 2012  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Family harmony can be jeopardized when difficult decisions need to be made and adult siblings and parents don’t agree. Maybe you think your Mom should move into assisted living. Or, maybe you’re uncomfortable with Dad’s driving. You might think that it’s time to sell the family cabin, but your sister loves the cabin and can’t bear to part with it and all the memories. Where do you go when the people most like you – those sharing your genes – and with whom you have more history than anyone else in the world, can’t see eye to eye? The legal system isn’t your best option if you’re hoping to continue those family ties after the issue is resolved. A better option is mediation. Mediation allows decisions to be made by the people most affected. It’s a confidential process which allows for creativity but requires compromise. A trained mediator can facilitate a discussion with the ultimate goal of preserving family relationships while resolving the complex interests of all involved. If decisions are being made for and sometimes with an elderly parent, that parent is going to want to preserve as much independence as possible. Adult children might have competing concerns about safety and appropriate care. And then there’s money – who has it, who…

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