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Can Text Messages Impact My Divorce Case?

Posted on in Divorce

Milwaukee divorce attorneys, text messages and divorce, social media and divorce, divorce process, divorce evidenceIn the 21st century, the electronic devices which we carry around in our pockets provide us with a great deal of convenience by allowing us to access information and communicate with others from nearly anywhere. However, this increased level of connectivity also comes with a price. In some cases, the messages people send on their phones may be used against them.

During a divorce, heated disputes can often arise as spouses seek to resolve issues such as property division, child custody, and child support. During this time, spouses’ actions may be closely scrutinized, and they may find that text messages sent in a moment of anger could have consequences. There are a number of ways that these types of messages could end up being part of a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce


DivorceWhat is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?

In essence, a divorce is a legal end to a marriage contract, while a legal separation involves many of the same legal proceedings as divorce, however, the two parties involved are not divorced at the end of the proceedings and are prohibited to re-marry another person. In both actions the court will order the division of marital property, decide maintenance (alimony) issues and issues involving children such as custody, placement (visitation) and child support.

A legal separation is granted by the courts when the marital relationship is deemed broken. Many people choose legal separation because of personal or religious beliefs that do not allow divorce. In cases where one person is not in favor of the divorce, the court will determine whether a judgment of legal separation or a judgment of divorce is granted.


property-divisionEight Things to Keep in Mind About Property Division

The one common element among all actions for divorce is property division. While custody and placement can involve significant emotional issues, property division issues are all financial. This is not to say that dividing the "stuff" will not evoke some very emotional responses. "You will only get my great great grandfather's pocket watch by prying it from my cold dead hands" is not an uncommon sentiment when dividing up the household property.

Property division is a very broad term but essentially it means the determination, valuation and division of the things you have collected both before and during the marriage. This can include:


child-placementSix Tips for Dealing with Child Support

Next to the custody and placement of children, child support is often one of the most contentious issues in a family law case. The amount of child support to be paid in most situations is determined by a complicated formula that factors in the amount of placement time allocated between the parents (generally, overnight periods) and the income of both parents. The court may also consider other factors when they have a significant impact on raising the children including, the cost of medical care coverage, child care expenses and any special needs the child may have. You can avoid many of the pitfalls common to child support disputes by considering the following six tips:

  1. Determine a placement schedule -This should be based on what works best for the parents and the children withoutconsidering the impact on child support.
  2. Be honest about your income - If you are self employed or have the ability to manipulate the amount of commissions or overtime, be honest and open. You are simply prolonging the fight as there is an ongoing duty to disclose income after the divorce.
  3. Don't buy their affection - One of the intentions behind the child support calculation is to create relatively equal financial households so that neither party has a financial advantage. Never attempt to buy the children's affections with extravagant gifts; thereby increasing your placement time and reducing your child support obligation.
  4. Do your part with the extra expenses - Each parent incurs variable expenses beyond the amount of child support. Variable expenses can include but is not limited to child care, tuition, special needs, activities such as camp, music lessons, sports and any other expense that involves substantial cost. Pay your share of these expenses. In addition it is important to communicate with the other parent before you enroll your children in activities, especially if they involve substantial cost (or infringe on placement time).
  5. Remember it is about your child - Child support is intended to assist with meeting the needs of the children. Don't waste the money or use it to supplement your lifestyle.
  6. Communicate any changes in your financial status - If you are unable to pay your full obligation deal with the problem immediately. Failure to do so could compromise your position in court later. Child support can be modified when you have a substantial (defined by the circumstances in each case) change in your financial situation. The court does not have the authority to modify child support retroactively (in most circumstances).

Payment of child support is for the benefit of the children. It is intended to assist in providing children with needs such as a proper home, food and clothing and the other necessities required to raise children. Nobody expects you to be happy about paying it but you should always pay your obligation in full and on time.


child-custodyFive Tips in Handling Child Placement and Custody

The custody and placement of children are, quite possibly, the two most emotionally wrenching issues in any divorce and often drive the progress of the case. Even if the proceedings run smoothly, the emotional repercussions can affect children for years.

What happens to your children as a result of the divorce should always be your first priority. It is paramount that they are consistently reassured that both parents love them and will be a part of their life no matter the final outcome of the legal battle. While the court may involve other experts, if handled appropriately, both parents should become the driving factor in what happens. The following article in our series on "How to Navigate the Murky Waters of Divorce" provides five tips to consider when children are involved:

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