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Lombard divorce attorneysAfter months or even years of unhappiness, you have finally decided that it is time for your marriage to end. It happens. In fact, it happens to about 800,000 couples every year in the United States, or about 2,200 per day, including weekends. If you are like many individuals, it can be very tempting to take to Facebook or Instagram in celebration of your newfound freedom. Others, sadly, turn to social media as an outlet for disparaging their partners, in hopes of finding support from friends and loved ones, or simply out of anger or spite. Whatever the reason, it is often best to limit your use of social media during your divorce to prevent potential unforeseen consequences.

Social Media Affects Divorce Cases

According to recent study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), as many as 99 percent of family law attorneys have observed an increase in the use of text message and social media evidence in divorce and family proceedings in the last few years. Many divorce attorneys are even incorporating strategies for uncovering such evidence. What was once the territory of private investigators with cameras and notebooks is now often covered by voluntary posts on Facebook.

Appearances Can Be Everything

While discovering damaging information on social media, such as your spouse’s illicit affair, for example, may irrevocably destroy your relationship, Illinois law prevents a court from considering marital misconduct in most proceedings related to divorce. Spousal maintenance and property division concerns are not dependent upon the behavior of either spouse. However, there are subjective factors that can greatly affect your case, especially when children are involved.

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

Lombard family law attorneysIf you have spent any time on the social media platform Twitter recently, you may be familiar with the hashtag “Maybe He Doesn’t Hit You.” The provocative message seeks to raise awareness about domestic violence—specifically psychological abuse.

Hidden Dangers

Psychological or emotional abuse often does not garner as much attention as physical abuse does. Physical abuse is often easier to spot because the victim may have visible bruises and scars or may need medical attention. Unfortunately, emotional abuse can go unnoticed by others until it becomes extreme. Even worse, many victims might not even realize that they are in an abusive relationship. People who have been victimized in the past or grew up with abusive or neglectful parents may consider certain abusive behavior to be normal. Victims of abuse may believe they deserve this damaging treatment because they are unworthy of more compassionate behavior. By sharing their stories of triumph over psychological abuse, men and women are taking the stigma out of discussing this form of domestic violence. The hashtag—a character used to track trending topics on social media—has been used in posts to share some gut-wrenching examples of psychological abuse, including:

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DuPage County estate planning attorneyWhen most people think about estate planning, their minds immediately turn toward dividing the tangible assets of a recently deceased person among his family members and loved ones. Such a concept is not inaccurate, but it does not really tell the whole story. Traditional assets like homes, cars, cash savings, and furniture, of course, must be accounted for in your estate plan, but what about considerations made possible by modern technology like digital downloads and your Facebook account? An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you address such concerns so that your privacy is fully protected along the way.

Digital Assets

If you use your computer, tablet, or mobile phone with any regularity, chances are good that you have at least digital assets. These may include songs and movies downloaded through iTunes, funds left in a PayPal account, or scanned financial documents electronically stored on your computer. With internet security becoming such a hot-button issue, it can be difficult for a family member—presuming that he or she knows about the asset in the first place—to log in, make changes, or delete the account.

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text message, Lombard divorce lawyers"Merry Christmas"

These two words were the entire contents of the first-ever text message, sent on December 3, 1992, by a 22-year old software engineer. Since that time, text message communication has become a way of life, with upwards of six billion messages exchanged every day in the United States. Text messages are short, simple, and quickly accessible for nearly every American adult, which explains their explosion in popularity. However, the very same characteristics that make text messaging so convenient can also create problems for those involved in legal proceedings, especially proceedings related to divorce or children.

Too Available?

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social media, divorce, Illinois Family Law AttorneysNever before in human history have people been as connected as they are in the Digital Age. While sociologists will argue for decades over the perceived depth or superficiality of relationships facilitated by social media, there is little question that society has changed as a result. In most situations, liking or sharing photos and posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may be relatively harmless, but it is absolutely critical to understand the power of social media in the midst of legal disputes and divorce, in particular.

Before You Click Send…

…remember that you cannot take back what you are about to post. Anything you share to a social media site, or really, even most internet-based applications, have the potential to remain permanent. Yes, you may be able to delete a post or a picture, and certain apps like Snapchat purport to only keep your information for a few seconds at time. However, all it takes is for a single person to capture a screenshot of your post and your control over its permanence is totally lost.

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technology, divorce, Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerWhen you are going through a divorce, there are many seemingly minor considerations that could have far-reaching consequences. One of these is the increased  use of social media. According to Jeff Landers, certified divorce financial analyst and Forbes contributor, social media can have unforeseen ramifications for your divorce, especially in complex or high-asset marital dissolution. "Even if he’s blocked you from seeing his posts directly, your mutual friends can still tell you all about the ski trip he took to Switzerland with his girlfriend a week after claiming he couldn’t afford to pay spousal support," Landers said as an example. It is also vital to be aware that not every online "friend" is an ally, and even the most innocent posts can be seen and easily misinterpreted in a damaging manner.

Yet not all recent technological advances are necessarily detrimental during divorce. There are, in fact, several applications that can make your divorce easier and less stressful. For example, there is a variety of apps that can help you chart the monetary aspects of your divorce. Divorce Log helps divorcing couples track all divorce financial information, such as alimony or child support payments. iSplit divorce "helps users divide their pricey marital assets by assigning icons to all big-ticket items."

There are also technological options that can be of help after the divorce has been finalized. One of these is the 2Houses app, which allows separated parents to share a digital calendar for plotting kids’ activities. Another similar app is Parenting Apart, "an advice-based service that provides resources for separated or divorced couples."

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social media, divorce, marriage, prenup, prenuptial agreement, premarital agreementWhen people think of prenuptial agreement clauses, what typically comes to mind are items such as property, financial assets and spousal support. However, due to how integral social media has become to our day to day lives, it is becoming more commonplace for couples to add clauses in their prenups regarding social media behavior.

These types of clauses are not just for celebrities or other people in the public spotlight. These types of provisions are for anyone who works in a business where their reputation is critical to success and could lose their job at even a hint of scandal.

Popular social media clauses include not posing any embarrassing or inappropriate photos or videos that could harm the other spouse’s reputation. This could also include what type of comments that a person makes.

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social media, twitter, facebook, family law, divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyTwitter and other social media services have completely changed the way people interact in their relationships. However, this does not always mean good things when it comes to romantic partnerships. Unfortunately, use of these services may also be behind a number of couples filing for divorce.

A recent study from Russell Clayton, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri has found that people who use Twitter actively are more likely to experience conflict with their romantic partners. The study also determined that Twitter-related conflict was more likely to lead to negative outcomes in the relationship, including infidelity and divorce. Over the course of the study, Clayton surveyed a total of 581 Twitter users about their activity on the social media site, including how often they accessed the site, posted tweets, sent direct messages, replied to followers, and scrolled through their newsfeed. He also questioned study participants about how often conflict arose in their relationship due to their Twitter usage. He found that the more active a respondent was on the social media website, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner. Unlike the results of Clayton's previous study, which examined the effect of Facebook-related conflict on relationships and found only newer relationships were affected, this study found that increased conflict and negative relationship outcomes affected new relationships regardless of how long the couple had been involved with each other. The study has been published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Social media is an excellent tool for communication and building friendships. Unfortunately, it can also have a negative effect as well. If you are considering filing for divorce as the result of online infidelity, it is important that you have an experienced attorney on your side. Contact a qualified Illinois divorce attorney today for a consultation on your case.

divorce settlement, social media, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, divorceWhen you are filing for a divorce, it can be tempting to frequently explain your reasoning. However, it pays to be careful when discussing your marital troubles publicly. In a recent court decision, a woman was stripped of a large portion of her divorce settlement as a result of her negative comments regarding her ex-husband.

Janice Schacter certainly never expected that complaining about her soon-to-be ex-husband's abuse and financial expenditures on social media would result in a judge stripping her of a large portion of her divorce settlement. Schacter had been complaining that her now ex-husband was both abusive and had spent more than $200,000 on an engagement ring for his new fiancee while refusing to pay for hearing aids for his daughter. As a result of her outspoken comments, Ira Schacter was named as a contestant for the website abovethelaw.com's sarcastic "Lawyer of the Month" award, significantly damaging his business. Ira Schacter's lawyers argued in court that the daughter had in fact received the hearing aids, though there was some contention over which party would pay the bulk of the expense. According to Justice Laura Drager, the misleading reports had a significant impact on the value of Ira Schacter's partnership in the legal firm where he worked. As a result, she determined that Janice Schacter would only be awarded 17 percent of the $5 million partnership value, or around $855,000. According to Drager, though Janice Schacter was within her rights to speak publicly about the domestic violence she may have experienced, "the incessant postings and discussions about the husband went beyond any reasonable discussion of this very serious issue." Filing for divorce can be a very distressing experience, and it can be tempting to speak openly about the issues that have lead to your decision to file. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help prevent any situation that may diminish any alimony or other property that you may be entitled to in your divorce settlement. If you are filing for divorce in Illinois, contact A. Traub & Associates, Attorneys at Law today for a consultation.
Social media is here to stay. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are great ways to stay connected and to keep your followers updated on the goings-on in your life. It is a place where you announce getting a promotion, the expectancy of a new baby, and when you start dating a new person; but is it a good idea to announce your divorce via social media? According to a survey conducted by the Huffington Post, people have mixed feelings. PamWhile going through a divorce, it is not a good idea to talk about it via social media. Innocent comments made by you or your children can be used against you and affect the outcome of your divorce. However, after the divorce is complete, making an announcement to the world via social media may be viewed at tasteless to some, while others find it practical. One woman posted her divorce announcement after she and her ex agreed to do so. In their case, they wanted their friends and family to know that to end the marriage was a mutual and amicable decision. Another woman admits that she made the announcement by changing her marital status and her name instead of making a formal announcement. Still, others in the survey felt that such a private and personal matter has no place in social media. It really comes down to a personal choice. Bashing your ex isn't recommended. Save that for face to face conversations with close and trusted friends if you feel that you need to vent. Take into consideration who may see the announcement and how this news may affect him or her, or how it could affect your former spouse or your children. If you are going through a divorce consult with an Illinois divorce lawyer to discuss your options. A qualified attorney will work on your behalf to protect your assets.

Image courtesy of digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net

A doctoral student at the University of Missouri has found that Facebook and other social media tools can have detrimental effects on relationships and marriages. Russell Clayton’s research has revealed that excessive Facebook users are connected with higher levels of Facebook-related conflict. This conflict can cause long-term problems in the relationship, like higher chances of cheating and divorce.

LauraIn the study, Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 82 were surveyed about their current level of social media use. Individuals were also asked to share details about conflict with their significant others as a result of their Facebook use. High levels of Facebook use in couples was linked to higher levels of conflict for the couple, often surrounding perceived issues of jealousy over communication and interactions with other Facebook friends. Using social media also makes details about the relationship or marriage much more public, since pictures and other shares can give Facebook friends a window into the couple&s life.

Part of the research may be sharing details about how social media affects jealously. For example, many survey respondents reported feeling a need to check on their significant other’s Facebook use, monitoring their conversations and sharing with other members of the site. Ultimately, this kind of monitoring may breed feelings of jealousy and an overall lack of trust. It’s important to note that these findings were only applicable to newer relationships, classified as those 3 years or less. This could signal that excessive use of Facebook or other social media can harm fledgling relationships, causing tension and jealousy early on before the relationship has been allowed to mature.

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Stacy Thibodeaux, 45, of St. Peters, says she was furious when she found pictures of her children on her ex-husband’s online dating profile after their divorce. She confronted her ex, claiming that it was inappropriate to have their young children’s images on Match.com.

Following her confrontation, he simply blocked her from his profile.

Thibodeaux, who has recently remarried after being divorced for five years, said she realized that she could not control what her ex-husband did with their children’s pictures. It had occurred to her, however, that it may have been helpful to establish some ground rules about their children’s digital exposure as part of their custody agreement.

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Almost everyone has an account on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media service. People share many personal things on social media, including how they are feeling at a given moment or what may be frustrating them. It is also easy to find old friends and ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends on social media, which can easily affect your emotional life and your marriage.

CBS reported a story about the effects social media is having on relationships and divorces. According to the story, social media is causing countless divorces, because men and women are discovering their spouse&s online indiscretions. A woman who wanted to remain anonymous said in the CBS story that she found out her husband was having numerous relationships with women online, and that ruined their marriage.

Social media is not only affecting marriages and relationships due to people are cheating online, but also because people are saying things or posting pictures that their spouses look at in shock. People get caught lying about where they went or what they are doing, or they say something that really upsets their spouse. Social media can also be a dangerous enemy in divorce.

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