Articles Posted in Divorce Discovery

social media.jpgAs a Ponte Vedra Beach Divorce Attorney I continuously come across the issue of social media and how it can and does play a part in divorces. I see social media play a role in nearly half of all of my cases. I have blogged on this topic on several occasions as well. Ten years ago this was not an issue, but now I advise all of my clients to be aware of what they put out there on the internet for everyone to see. This is because all to often pictures, status updates and videos are used against clients in trials. This is especially true in child custody battles.

Not surprisingly there have been numerous articles published on this topic. One of which can be found on The Huffington Post and is titled, “Don’t Let Social Media Sabotage Your Divorce.” The author of this article, Bari Zell Weinberger, Esq., lists three important steps that a divorcing party should take in order to avoid self sabotage. One, “Think before you post.” Don’t post any pictures or comments that you know could come back to haunt you as evidence at a trial. This should be quite apparent. Two, “Keep your social networking circles separate from your ex’s.” Keep your ex or soon to be ex off of your personal site. You don’t want your ex or soon to be ex to have the ability to gather any evidence that can be used against you. And finally, three, “Don’t reveal your location.” If you’re not where you are supposed to be do not announce to the internet world where you actually are at all times.

Should you live in the Ponte Vedra Beach area and are contemplating divorce contact a Ponte Vedra Beach Divorce Attorney today. A Ponte Vedra Beach Divorce Attorney can assist you with tailoring your personal social media sites to insure they cannot potentially harm your case.

fb.jpgA case out of Ohio provides a telling reminder of why you really need to stay away from Facebook during a divorce – or really any criminal proceeding. Sure, it’s nice to have a place to rant and converse with your online friends. But you need to remember that what you write on Facebook is never completely private (no matter what your security settings are at) and the court can (and often does) find out about it.

The case involves a man who was ordered to stay away from his wife and to refrain from doing anything to cause her “to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.” The order also affected his rights to visit with his son, so he was understandably upset. What he should have done was converse, in person or on the phone, with his friends or others who could offer emotional support. What he did do was log onto Facebook and post:

“. . . if you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner . . . .”

usher.jpgDrug testing is a common issue in divorce and other legal proceedings involving children. Family Law Judges in Jacksonville have the authority to order a parent who is alleged to be using and or abusing illegal substances to submit to a drug test. This usually occurs upon motion of the other party or parent.

Reportedly, R&B star, Usher, is finding himself in this exact situation. Neontommy.com posted an article, which opens with, “In the heat of a custody battle, Usher’s ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, is practically begging for the judge to have him drug tested. She claims that the R&B superstar “pops pills” and “who knows what else” in front of their two boys.”

If you live in the Jacksonville area and are concerned that your ex-spouse or soon-to-be-ex-spouse is abusing drugs around your children contact a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

facebook evidence.jpgThe popularity of Facebook and other “second lives” people lead on the internet has given rise to social media playing an increasingly prevalent role in the courts. Earlier this month, a judge in New Jersey ruled that a woman could be prosecuted for identity theft after apparently creating a fake Facebook account for her ex-boyfriend. She used the account to insinuate that he had herpes, visited prostitutes, and was “high” all the time. The man was a narcotics detective, so the claims were especially problematic for him.

Similarly, a Michigan case recently saw a judge order both parties in a divorce to exchange passwords to their Facebook accounts. The parties are fighting over custody of their children, and the father claims his ex-wife’s social networking history will show that she is incapable of taking care of the children. The judge ordered the two of them to exchange passwords and also told them they must refrain from posting messages in the other party’s name.

It’s only a matter of time before these issues start popping up in Florida. It’s very important to remember that anything you post on line can be accessed by someone else. Nothing you post is completely anonymous and it will remain on the Internet forever. Be professional and think before saying things, especially if you are involved in a dispute.

text message.jpgRecently, an Australian man had charges of rape dismissed because of text messages stored on his iPhone. It’s not uncommon for text messages to be used in such cases; what’s interesting is that the man had deleted the text messages several weeks earlier. Fortunately, an it expert was able to access those deleted messages and recover them for use in the rape case.

Text messages from phones are often difficult to access once they’ve been deleted, however; as a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer I know that retrieval of these messages is possible. Specifically, your cell phone service provider may hold on to the content of text messages for a certain time period, so even if you delete them from your phone, they might be accessible. Often times a subpoena is necessary to retrieve the text message content.

This information has been important in many of my Jacksonville divorce cases because text messages may reveal valuable evidence regarding child custody, adultery, injunctions, etc. Typically, it is not a good idea to use text messages for intimate discussions or other conversations you may wish to keep private. If you don’t want something you say to be used against you, either don’t have the conversation or have it in person so there’s not a history of the conversation stored on your phone or computer. And remember, if you are going through a divorce, contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer to discuss your questions or concerns.

social media.jpgIf you are going through a divorce, it is very important that you try not to talk about it to too many people. It’s natural for you to vent your feelings and anger, but keep these conversations limited to close friends and family.

You should never discuss any aspect of your divorce on any social networking site, such as facebook and twitter. Not only can this start needless arguments online, but these arguments are archived essentially in stone. Even if you delete a comment or post, it has been archived on a computer that you likely do not have access to. In certain circumstances, this information can be subpoenaed or obtained through other methods and then used against you.

In fact, the lawyer for the other side may find a way to use social networking information against you, even if you think it’s something innocent. For example, if you have pictures of yourself at a bar, the opposing council could use it in a custody battle. Or, if you tell your former spouse that you don’t have any money, don’t post pictures of your new car on your profile.

time passing.jpgAs a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney I’ve noticed one of the first questions new clients ask me is, “how long is it going to take for my divorce to become finalized.” Unfortunately, there is no one answer to that question.

A divorce can last as long as the parties want it to last. It truly depends on the issues of the case and how willing the parties are to compromise and communicate openly with their respective attorneys.

As a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney, I have had all of the required paperwork and signatures completed within a week for simple divorces that do not involve children. However, Florida Statute 61.19 requires a period of 20 days to elapse from the time the Petition is filed to the time a Final Judgment can be entered.

teddy bear.jpgA concerned Nebraska mother learned the hard way that recording someone without his or her knowledge violates the Federal Wiretap Act. The mother and her father were hit with a combined $120,000 penalty for putting an audio recorder in the mother’s daughter’s teddy bear.

An article titled, “Modern Divorce: Wiretapped Teddy Bears, $120,000 in fines,” details how the mother and grandfather wiretapped the child’s father and inadvertently numerous other individuals with the hopes of gaining evidence to prove the child’s father was abusive during his unsupervised timesharing with the child.

As a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney I know many people would like to gain as much evidence as they can against the opposing party in a divorce or child custody case. However, it is important to learn from the above mentioned mother and grandfather that recording someone without his or her knowledge is not only likely inadmissible in court it can also be illegal. Contacting a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney can be an important first step in a divorce proceeding.

facebook.jpgAn American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) survey conducted just this past year found that four out of five lawyers reported an increasing number of their divorce cases citing evidence derived from social networking sites in the past five years, with Facebook leading the pack.

As a Jacksonville Divorce and Child Custody Attorney I have seen an increase in evidentiary exhibits derived from social networking sites in the past several months. While the legal evidentiary issues surrounding use of information obtained from such sites is somewhat controversial it can be a tool used for both for and against parties in a divorce or child custody case.

Contact a Jacksonville Divorce and Child Custody Attorney today for more information regarding this issue.

marriage counselor.jpgA new North Dakota bill is getting a lot of attention in the North Dakota legislature, as it is proposing mandatory marriage counseling in all divorce cases. The drafters of the bill want all married couples, with the exemption of cases with substantiated allegations of domestic abuse, to wait one year to get a divorce while they attend mandatory marriage counseling.

 

Florida does not require mandatory marriage counseling when a married couple is seeking to obtain a divorce. Instead, in Florida the Court may refer parties to mediation in cases where parental responsibility, primary residence, timesharing, or child support are contested.

To find out more about what Florida courts require in regards to divorce proceedings contact a Neptune Beach Divorce Attorney.

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