As this news video from CNN describes more and more people are blaming Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking sites for their divorces. Although I would argue that these sites are simply an outlet for feelings that would otherwise have surfaced in another form, there is still a lesson to be learned here. Assume that anything you write on the internet (whether on a "private" page or not) is going to be seen by everyone. It is not only discoverable (in the legal sense) but likely to be discovered or passed along or shared by family, friends, or other acquaintances.
We often warn our divorce clients that e-mails they send to their soon to be ex-spouses WILL show up in court. This is because it's almost impossible for two parties involved in an emotional dispute to write correspondence without overtones of disappointment, hurt or anger showing through in tone. This is even more likely in informal correspondence like e-mail. The same is true for texts, especially now that texts are beginning to replace phone calls as the preferred method of quick short communications. According to this Huffington Post article, "Americans punched out more than 110 billion text messages in December 2008." There are also significant domestic violence implications with text messaging. For instance, text messages are considered a communication and a violation of a restraining order, even if the victim sent a text message first a reply could result in an arrest and charge of violating a restraining order. In addition, texts can be another way for abuse
In addition to beginning the litigation process, immediately upon the filing of a Complaint for Divorce, the Plaintiff (person who filed the Complaint) is restrained from taking specific actions with respect to their assets and liabilities. Along with the Summons the Court will provide to the Plaintiff, a Notice describing the Rule 411 Automatic Restraining Order. A sample Notice describing the Rule 411 Automatic Restraining Order is available here. Upon the service of the Complaint and Summons on the other party (the Defendant), they too become restrained by Rule 411. Generally Rule 411 prohibits either party from a. selling, hiding, encumbering or disposing of any personal property or real property in which either of you have an interest (except for in the case of specific exceptions), b. incurring any further debt that would burden the credit of the other spouse (such as making charges on joint credit cards), c. changing the beneficiary designation on any life insurance policy, pens
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A recent tongue-in-cheek blog post by fellow attorney and blawger, Gabriel Cheong, describes his support for the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act. The 2010 California Marriage Protection Act, a proposed amendment available at http://rescuemarriage.org/2009/08/22/2010-california-protection-of-marriage-act/ , takes Proposition 8 one step further by banning divorce in the state of California. Support of the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act demonstrates the hypocrisy of attacking gay marriage for being detrimental to the sanctity of marriage when the state allows divorce. Divorce, after all, is the ultimate attack on the sanctity of marriage. Although this is the classic slippery slope argument, the method can hardly be questioned by those who claim gay marriage will lead to people wanting to marry their pets. This leads to the question: What does it really mean to protect the sanctity of marriage? Sanctity is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as 1. the holiness
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