What Is Involved In Adopting My Stepchild?

adopting my stepchildFor the most part, adopting a stepchild is much like adopting any other child. In fact, sometimes the process can be expedited since the child and your spouse are related.

But the biggest difference between adopting a stepchild and any other adoption can often be the biggest hurdle to overcome: you need permission from the child’s other parent (provided they’re still living), and granting that permission requires them to give up all their parental rights. It’s easy to understand why it might be difficult to convince a parent to give that up.

On the other hand, giving up all parental rights also means giving up all responsibilities, including child support. If the other parent does not have a strong relationship with their child, they may even welcome an opportunity to stop making those payments.

In some cases, the other parent may recognize that surrendering their parental rights so the child can be adopted by the stepparent is in the best interests of the child, in which case they’ll be more likely to provide their consent. In order to voluntarily surrender their parental rights, the other parent will need to sign appropriate Court documents to surrender their rights and attest that they understand what they are doing in front of a Judge before the adoption can proceed.

If the other parent refuses to give up their parental responsibilities, and you can provide evidence that they are an unfit parent, you can have their parental rights terminated. It’s an extreme measure and it requires being able to meet a very high burden of proof. There are several bases to claim unfitness, but the more common issues that arise are abandonment, physical abuse or neglect, and/or significant drug use.

In order to prove abandonment, you must be able to demonstrate that the other parent has not communicated with the child, by no fault of your own, and they also provided financial support for the child for a defined length of time. In many cases, the Judge will want to see that the parent has been out of touch for at least several years, even if the statutory duration is a shorter period.

If you accuse the other parent of being an unfit parent, most courts will respond by conducting a fitness hearing, which it will use to determine whether the other parent has been abusive, neglectful, incarcerated, suffers from an addiction, or fails to visit the child. If parental rights are terminated, the Court can move on to the secondary issue of whether the adoption will be granted, which is a separate proceeding.

As explained above, obtaining the permission of the other parent (or having them deemed an unfit parent by the prevailing court) is just the first step. Once the Petition for Adoption is filed, the Court will also be appointing a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate the facts of the case and make a recommendation to the Court on whether or not the adoption is in the best interest of the child. The GAL also has very specific duties under the statute, and everything about the adoptions process must strictly adhere to the applicable laws. If it strays in any way, it could subject the adoption to being overturned later down the road, which could cause a lot of distress and/or damage for the child.

The basic takeaway from adoption law in Illinois is that you really need to have an experienced attorney handling these proceedings for you. There are several factors at play and procedures to complete, even for an “uncontested” adoption where one parent is agreeing to terminate his/her rights.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases, as well as all types of family law for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

Divorcing An Absent Spouse

Divorcing An Absent SpouseIt can be hard enough to come to an agreement with your spouse that it’s time to end the marriage, but what if your spouse skipped town, and you have no idea where they might be? If you’re ready to move on with your life after that marriage, but can’t find your spouse, you can still file for a divorce, but ultimately serve them by publication.

For many years in Illinois, you needed to prove your spouse was at fault for causing the dissolution of your marriage if you wanted to succeed in securing a divorce. You needed to provide evidence that they had committed adultery, were abusive, abandoned you, and/or was habitually drunk, etc. Some time ago, Illinois adopted a no-fault divorce option in which people listed “irreconcilable differences” as their reason for divorce. It’s known as the no-fault option because it does not blame either spouse for the dissolution of the marriage, but merely recognizes that the two parties have reached a point where maintaining the marriage is no longer possible or desirable. Prior to 2016, a petitioning party had to be separated from their spouse for two (2) years before a Judgment could be entered, unless both parties had signed a written acknowledgment that they had been separated for at least six (6) months and were agreeing to waive the 2-year separation requirement.

In 2016, Illinois became a true “No Fault” state when it eliminated all grounds for divorce except for irreconcilable differences. Further, under the current law, you only have to show that you have been living separate and apart from your spouse for six (6) months immediately prior to the entry of a Judgment for Dissolution. Such a showing creates an irrebuttable presumption that irreconcilable differences have arisen in the marriage, and you can seek a divorce much sooner than the old law.

So, how does this change in the law affect how and when you can file for divorce if your spouse is nowhere to be found?   Now, you can file for divorce against an absent spouse and you only have to show that you’ve been separated for six (6) months before requesting the Court enter a Judgment for Dissolution against your spouse on a “default” basis. But, some things have to be shown to the Court before they will default your spouse, as explained below.

Once you file your Petition for Dissolution, you have to actually serve your spouse with the Petition before the Court can proceed with any default proceedings. It is important to note as well that marriage and divorce laws vary from state to state, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements for filing a Petition for Dissolution and also with your State’s laws on service of process, including specifically on what is called “service by publication.” There’s usually a minimum amount of time you and your spouse must have been living apart before you can file for divorce, and you must also be able to prove that you preformed “due diligence” in trying to locate your spouse but were still unable to find them for purposes of serving them personally. It is important to also speak with an attorney before assuming you can or should serve someone by publication, as there may be other methods of “personal service” that are still available to you even if you do not have a known residential address for your spouse.

The requirements for due diligence also vary from state to state, but service by publication generally requires you to publish a notice that you are seeking divorce from your spouse in all the newspapers published in the area in which they were last known to reside. If, after a specified amount of time, the spouse does not respond to your notices, you can submit proof to the court that you performed due diligence in trying to find your spouse and to notify them of your intention to divorce them. Such proof will usually include a copy of the publication of your notice with the motion you file with the Court to request that the Judge find that you successfully served your spouse via publication.

Once service by publication is established, the court can then set the case for a final hearing and issue a divorce, even in the absence of your spouse. If you are truly unable to locate your spouse, the court does have the ability to enter orders for all aspects of the dissolution of the marriage, including division of property and assignment of debts. The Court may also enter default orders relating to parenting time and parental decision-making (formerly known as “custody”). However, in many jurisdictions, the Court may be more reluctant to enter default orders relating to child issues depending on the circumstances, so it is important to speak with an attorney who regularly practices in the jurisdiction you live to determine whether a default order is likely in your case.

While the Courts do not require that you have an attorney to serve your spouse via publication and/or seek a Judgment for Dissolution by default, it’s always recommended to have a knowledgeable legal professional help you through the process. There are a lot of forms to fill out, many of which are full of legal jargon, and you don’t want to miss any necessary steps by accident. A competent family and divorce attorney can help facilitate the divorce process for you as quickly and painlessly as possible, while making sure you get everything you need.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

Child Support Changes In Illinois

Child Support Changes In IllinoisIn the past, when a couple with children got divorced, one parent (the non-custodial parent) would be made to pay child support to the custodial parent. But in 2016, Illinois changed its divorce law to exclude titles like “custodial” and “non-custodial.” Instead there is only “parental responsibilities” and also “parenting time,” which get divvied up between the two parents.

At this time, Illinois law still requires the parent with less parenting time to pay child support to the primary caregiver, but that’s all about to change in July 2017. The current system is outdated in that it presupposes a household in which one parent earns the family income and the other parent stays home to raise the children. While many families do still operate this way, an increasing number of families have two parents who work outside the home and the Illinois Legislature recently passed a new law that takes into account these changes.

Rather than ordering one parent to pay a certain percentage of their income based on the number of children being supported, the new law orders the courts to determine how much it costs to raise a child depending on the combined net incomes of the parents. Based on this figure, the Court then decides what each parent must pay toward the cost to raise the child, allocating their responsibility based on his or her income.

For example, let’s assume that based on the parents’ net income, the Court determines that the cost to raise a child is $2,000.00 per month. Husband makes 70% of the household income and Wife makes 30% of the household income. Wife also has primary parenting time with the children. Husband may be looking at paying $1,400 per month of this $2,000 cost, and the Wife would be paying $600. Once you offset these amounts, Husband’s direct contribution to Wife would be $800.00 per month.

As referenced above, the new law also takes into account how much time each parent spends with the children. If the parents share 50-50 parenting time, or one parent has at least 40% of the time with the children, the new guidelines may not apply, and the Court will have to determine a proper child support figure.

Although that last provision was no doubt created with the best of intentions, it may have some unintended consequences. One or both parents might try to spend at least 40-50% of the time with the children, at least on paper, as a way of avoiding paying extra child support, rather than because such an arrangement would be best for the children.

A parent may likewise argue that the other parent should not get to spend that much time with the children because they want more child support, without taking their children’s best interests into account. If both parents start fighting to have the children for a minimum of 40% of the time (or approximately 146 nights each year), a judge may have to step in and determine whether the parents are acting in their own financial interests or the wellbeing of their children.

If one parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will assume their income is 75% of the current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for an individual. If that’s case, they will be required to pay a minimum child support obligation of $40 each month.

The new law will go into effect on July 1, 2017, so there’s still time to prepare for these changes.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

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What Divorcing Couples Should Know About A Jointly-Owned Business

Divorcing CouplesIn 2007, the Census Bureau estimated that approximately 3.7 million businesses were co-owned by spouses, and as more people start their own businesses, that number has likely only gone up. That’s great if couples can successfully work together, but what if you get divorced? Can the business survive? Do one or both of you need to start looking for another job in addition to dealing with the emotional pain of divorce?

Every relationship is unique, and that’s as true of business relationships as it is of personal relationships. Some couples can continue to work together even after they’ve divorced, while others simply have to go their separate ways. Whichever path you choose, here’s what you need to know:

1) Put it in writing.

Most business partners sign an agreement when they start working together that outlines what happens if they want to go their separate ways. But because business ventures between spouses tend to be less formal, they often don’t sign such an agreement and that’s their first mistake. If you don’t already have a written agreement with your partner, write one up and sign it ASAP.

2) Get an attorney who has experience in handling business division along with divorce.

There are attorneys who practice preventing and resolving business disputes and attorneys who practice divorce, but an attorney who practices one is not necessarily experienced in the other. In order to make sure all your assets and interests are protected, make sure you get an attorney you know is capable of handling all aspects of the division of assets.

3) Maintain accurate records.

Your business is one of your assets, so you want to make sure you and your partner can accurately determine its worth when it comes time to divide your property. If you decide the business needs to be sold as part of the divorce, it’s not in anyone’s best interests to sell the business for less than it’s worth. In order to avoid a situation in which one or both of you gets cheated, it is necessary to maintain accurate records from the beginning. Know how much you have each invested in the business, and how much income the business has generated, and it will make the process of splitting and/or selling the business much easier.

4) Talk to your employees.

Much like children, employees might feel betrayed and/or take sides in a divorce. If they hear their bosses are getting divorced (especially if they hear it from someone else) they may worry about their job security.

To avoid confusion and potentially messy situations, couples should agree on a story they can tell their employees, and, whenever possible, they should be the ones to break the news. Some people may feel uncomfortable sharing such a personal experience with the people in their office, but doing so will ultimately make for a more comfortable and trusting work environment. That said, the decision is yours to make and no one will make you do anything you’re not comfortable with.

If you do decide to continue working together after the divorce, it might help to know that there are couples who have made it work. They have said mutual respect is necessary, and that the first two years are the most difficult. After that it gets easier.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

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How is Social Media a Contributing Factor in Divorces Today?

Social Media a Contributing Factor in DivorcesSocial media has quickly grown from something only a few college kids did to something that impacts every area of our lives – from our jobs to our ability to obtain a loan and, yes, even our divorces.

One of the most common pieces of advice regarding social media is to refrain from posting anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer seeing. Well, divorce attorneys are also advising their clients not to post anything they wouldn’t want a judge to see. Just like conducting an online search is one of the first things prospective employers do, it’s also one of the first things your spouse’s divorce attorney will do when collecting evidence against you. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Don’t assume your spouse can’t see what you post just because you’ve blocked them.

If your friends post about your job or your vacation, your spouse may be able to access that post and use it against you in divorce court.

Despite the fact that you may use privacy settings to make sure your spouse can’t see your posts, keep in mind your friends who may be posting compromising pictures of you. Even if your spouse can’t see your posts, they may be able to see what your friends are posting and that information can still be used in court against you. Not only should that caution you against posting indelicate information, but it should also warn you to keep track of what your friends are posting about you.

2) Think before you post.

You’ve probably heard that, once something is published on the Internet, it never really disappears. Keep that in mind before you post anything because, even if you delete compromising posts, forensic experts may still be able to access them.

3) Ask your friends for help.

If you see an unflattering or compromising post one of your friends put up that includes you, you can ask them to remove your tag from the post or remove the post altogether. But remember that nothing is ever truly deleted from the Internet. While your friend may comply with your request, the damage may have already been done.

4) Remember: nothing is private online.

Also keep in mind that the social media sites we use every day are owned by businesses with their own agenda. Most of them have Terms of Service that allow them to do pretty much whatever they want with the information you post. Even if your friends are on your side, Facebook probably is not and they can decide to sell your information to the highest bidder.

5) Take a break from social media.

The best way to keep a clean profile is to simply stay off social media until your divorce is finalized. Don’t post anything, no matter how innocent it may first appear.

6) Don’t delete any of your accounts.

At the same time, don’t delete any social media accounts you already have. It may be tempting, but it can also be considered destruction of evidence. This has the potential to get you in even more trouble than the social media account itself could.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

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Who Can Claim Children As Dependents? What To Do When Your Divorce Does Not Specify

Who Can Claim Children As DependentsIllinois marital and divorce law was recently changed to redefine “custody” as “parenting time.” Under the new law, the parenting time is split between the parents. In most cases, one parent ends up with the majority of the parenting time (determining which party gets the most parenting time depends on a number of factors to be considered by the judge ruling in the matter). In some cases, especially in amicable divorces, the parties may agree on a parenting plan that divides up the parenting responsibilities between them. They then merely ask a judge to approve their plan.

The parent awarded the majority of the parenting time is known as the “custodial parent,” for situations where certain federal or state statutes still require use of the designation. Generally, this distinction also falls on the parent who gets the primary parental and decision-making responsibilities of the children, but sometimes, such as in the case of a 50-50 parenting arrangement, it is a technicality defined in the parenting plan. Although the term “custody” no longer has any meaning in the context of Illinois family law, it is still used for the purpose of designating one parent that can claim the children as dependents on their tax returns.

In some cases, parents may agree to a Parenting Plan that divides the parenting time equally between the parties and gives them both parental responsibility of the child. As mentioned above, even if the parents are able to work out such an agreement, Illinois law requires one of them to be labeled the “custodial parent” for tax purposes. In order for the other parent to be able to claim the child as a dependent on their tax forms, the designated “custodial parent” must fill out a Form 8332 in order to sign off on the other parent’s right to claim the child dependency tax exemption.

If you and your ex-spouse agreed to evenly divide the parenting time and responsibilities between you, one of you should still have been labeled the “custodial parent.” If that title went to the other party, you can ask them to fill out Form 8332 so you can claim your children as dependents on your tax form and take the coinciding deduction.

It is most common for parents to agree to alternate the child exemption, regardless of who was given the title of “custodial parent.” The reason being that the non-custodial parent is still often paying child support for purposes of assisting with the child’s needs when the child is in the care of the custodial parent.

If such was the case for you and your ex-spouse, you might want to check in with them regarding whose turn it is. Whoever did not get to claim the tax credit the year before should get to claim it this year. If this is your first time filing taxes after the separation or divorce, talk with the other parent to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to filing taxes. You can choose to have the “custodial parent” claim the exemption first and switch off from there or work out another system that works for both of you. It is always best for there to be a court order that clearly defines the tax dependency arrangement, including who can file and whether that parent can file in even or odd tax years.

When filing your taxes, it also helps to get a written declaration from the custodial parent that they will not claim the child as a dependent and have them attach the declaration to their tax return. This would expedite the resolution of any issues filing your return.

No matter your situation, it is always best to maintain open and respectful communication with your ex-spouse regarding the parenting of the children and the terms of the divorce. It makes everything much easier, including the children’s ability to adjust to their new circumstances.

If you are having any family law issues, consulting a knowledgeable attorney can help. At Sherer Law Offices, we can guide you through the legal steps you need to take to ensure your rights are protected.

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What to Do When an Executor Fails to Carry Out the Will

carry out the willAn executor’s job is to carry out the will, meaning he or she will execute the will and handle the estate of the deceased by carrying out their wishes. This can include paying debts and taxes and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries in accordance to the instructions of the will. It is the responsibility of the of the executor to do these things in a timely manner, and act in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

But what happens if the executor isn’t doing their job? Can they be removed from their position? There are many things you should do if you find that the executor isn’t doing their job properly.

Know the Timeline to Settle an Estate

When a loved one passes away, you probably start to wonder how long it takes between the time the will is read and when you will get your inheritance. It depends on how complex the estate is, and the process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The executor can only disperse the assets of the estate after the property is evaluated and all the debts and taxes have been paid. The executor can be held personally liable if the inheritances are paid first and there isn’t any money left to cover debts and taxes.

Determine If You Have a Case

You should first try talking to the executor about your concerns. If that doesn’t work, you may have to take legal action.

To have an executor removed from an estate you need to be able to show that they are not living up to their responsibilities of their job or that they are doing something that isn’t legal. The court may remove an executor for the following reasons:

  • They are no longer eligible because they have been convicted of a felony after being named executor
  • They are no longer suitable because they have a conflict of interest
  • They have failed to carry out the wishes of the deceased or they haven’t done anything at all
  • They mismanage the estate by stealing from the estate or wasting assets

The executor must commit a serious infraction for the court to act. Taking a long time to settle the estate is not considered a serious infraction on its own. It must be in addition to one of the examples above. In most cases, you must wait a little longer to get your inheritance.

Seeking Legal Recourse

If you believe that the executor is not living up to their duties, you have two legal options: petition the court or file a civil lawsuit.

Beneficiaries can petition the court to have the executor removed from their positon if they can prove they should be removed for one of the reasons listed above. The court will have a hearing where the parties involved can tell their side of the story. Afterwards, the court can remove the executor and appoint another one if they find just cause.

Your other option is to file a civil lawsuit against the executor if you can prove that you have suffered due to their actions, or lack of actions. For instance, this would be an option if the executor has stolen money or failed to protect the assets of the estate. There is always a chance you will be able to settle before ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.

No matter where you are in the process of settling an estate, you need to speak to a qualified estate planning attorney if you have any concerns at all. At Sherer Law Offices, our attorneys will advise you and guide you as to what to do if you find yourself in this difficult situation.

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Abuse of Allocated Parenting Time in The State Of Illinois

In this video, Barbara Sherer shares some of the highlights and changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act that took place in January 2016. She is particularly focusing on the abuse of allocated parenting time. For example, if you are being denied parenting time, you need to reach out to the other parent showing that you are trying to resolve the issue. She discusses how these new provisions work. Please know, this is in no way to offer specific legal advice. Every situation is different.

 

There is always a chance for circumstances to change in one form or another.  That is why it is so important to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side.  At Sherer Law Offices, our experiences attorneys will guide you through the process of modifying your maintenance agreement and make sure that you get exactly what you need and deserve.  

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It’s September: How Will You Pay for College Next Year?

paying for collegeToday, a college education averages about $43,000 per year for a 4-year private school. The average for a 4-year public school is $19,000 per year. Tuition and fees at both levels continue to increase every year by 3%. Many of us don’t have a lot of cash lying around, which makes us wonder how we are going to pay for college without breaking the bank.

Paying for college can be an especially difficult subject when you are divorced from your spouse. Regardless of how this topic was handled in your divorce decree, you may still want to be able to pay for college, and you need to do some serious planning in order to achieve this. The following are a few suggestions that can help you pay for college and not unreasonably affect your own finances. The sooner you start to understand the planning and application process that comes with getting ready for college, the more money you may be able to save on the cost of tuition.

Search for Scholarships

An excellent way to pay for tuition is to get your hands on some free money. This comes in the form of scholarships. You can start your scholarship search as early as your child’s junior year of high school. You can find available scholarships through their school, your church, workplace, or even extracurricular activities. Consult your child’s high school or career counselor to help you search for scholarships. Applying for scholarships can be very time consuming, so be sure to plan ahead and get them turned in on time. Some applications require an essay from the student, so be sure to add enough time for that as well.

Apply to More than One College and Compare Award Letters

Even though the college application process can be expensive, applying to more than one school gives you the flexibility to choose and compare the costs of several different schools before making our final choice.

By the end of March or April of your student’s senior year, you should get an award letter from the school you have chosen with the details of the financial aid they offer. The letter may include information about federal student loans, scholarships, and grants. After looking over your award letter, you will have a better idea of how much more money you will need to find to pay for college.

Fill Out the FAFSA

You and your student will need to complete the FAFSA after January 1st of their senior year in high school, and every college year after that. Completing the FAFSA gives you the chance to qualify for federal student aid.

When to Call Our Office

If you are a divorced parent needing to pay for college and you have a child support order, the time to call our office is right before your child begins their senior year of high school. There is no magic formula the Courts use to determine how post-minority support is paid, as this type of support for college expenses is completely discretionary for the Court. This is also why each state treats this issue differently. Some states disallow this support, while others support it by state statute.

Pursuant to Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the court is able to make provisions for educational expenses for the children of the marriage, whether or not they are of minority or minor age. This support is for any period that the child is still attending high school, even past the age of 18, as well as for college education or other professional training after high school.

Expenses for this include tuition, room and board, transportation, books, application fees, medical expenses (including insurance), as well as living expenses during school and school breaks. The court will also take into account the financial resources of both of the parents and the standard of living the child would have been accustomed to if the marriage had not ended. It is best to wait until your child has a more definitive idea of his or her choice of college before petitioning the Court for post-minority child support, as the Court will want to know more precise figures and costs for the child’s tuition, expenses, room and board, and other living expenses.

Don’t wait. The time to modify your child support order to cover college tuition is right now. Here at Sherer Law Offices, our experienced family law attorneys will submit the proper paperwork for you to get your order amended so that you will have help paying for college when the time comes.

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Dangers of Social Media During a Divorce

social media during a divorceThere are many legal and emotional reasons that you should be cautious of social media during a divorce. Today’s technology and social media outlets have drastically changed the aspects of our daily lives. Unfortunately, divorce is no different. You don’t necessarily have to totally unplug, but you need to be aware of the potential, and possibly devastating, consequences of your activity during your divorce proceedings.

Legal Issues

There’s no doubt about it; technology is there everywhere you turn. There are so many forms of technology out there today including, but not limited to, cell phones, GPS, email, internet search engines, and numerous social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Each form of communication can potentially provide a lawyer with incriminating evidence. For instance, pictures of a lavish vacation can call into question your request for lower maintenance payments. Pictures of you at a wild party could bring up negative parenting issues. Information on dating sites can cause all kinds of negative issues as well.

Each time you make a post to a social media platform, you are basically creating a diary of your every move. Even though most of it is probably harmless, some of it can still be taken out of context and may bring to light an image that you don’t want to portray while going through a divorce.

Emotional Issues

When thinking about the social or emotional consequences of social media, you need to be aware that there could be an impact on yourself as well as the other relationships and people in your life. Consider your own emotions and the possible negative impact other people’s postings might have on you. Most people going through a divorce consider it a personal crisis with varying painful emotions. Given the struggles that you are likely to be going through, do you really think you should be looking at other people’s posts about how perfect their life is? Be kind to yourself, and limit your time on social media so that you don’t make yourself feel worse about your current situation.

You also need to be mindful of how other people will read your post. Sure, venting online is a quick way to release your anger and emotions, but it is also very hard to repair the potential damage that your post may cause. If your soon-to-be ex, his family or friends, or even your own children, read what you said, it is impossible to take it back. The damage has already been done.

There is also the issue of privacy. Think about how your children would feel if all of their friends’ parents read all of your negative remarks and the ugly details of your pending divorce. Your children’s friends would probably hear their parents talking and repeat stuff that they heard to your children. Negative comments and teasing of your children could make their lives extremely difficult. Maintaining privacy is essential in keeping your children safe from the negativity of the situation.

Maintain Integrity

Using social media is like any other point of choice during your divorce proceedings. You can, and should, choose to take the high road. When you choose to act with integrity you will feel so much better in the long run. Venting can be satisfying in the heat of the moment, but the pain can keep you stuck in the past instead of moving on toward a healthier future for you and your children.

As with many things in life, there is an upside and a downside to the use of social media. During a divorce, you should be cautious with your posts to protect yourself both legally and emotionally. You also might what to consider face-to-face support over support from Facebook or other places. You would be in contact with a real person who can better meet your needs, rather than dealing with words on a screen.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for divorce cases for more than 20 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests.

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