How Can Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Family Law Case?

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How Can Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Family Law Case?

Social media has become ubiquitous in our lives. We go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok to share the day-to-day experiences in our lives with family and friends. Often, we also share our thoughts and feelings, whether we are happy, sad, angry, or excited.

Unfortunately, social media can also be used against you in a family law case. Even if you use private settings or delete old posts, your social media activity can still be evidence in a divorce, child custody battle, or other family-related legal matters. Furthermore, what you think is fun and innocent could get twisted and taken out of context to harm your case.

The attorneys at the Adams Law Firm know this and can help guide you on the most appropriate use of social media when you are engaged in a legal proceeding.

Examples of Social Media as Evidence in a Family Law Case

You may be quite used to turning to Facebook or Twitter to share a picture or post about everyday matters. But this could be used as evidence against you or otherwise harm your family law case. Let’s look at some examples.

  • Evidence of your financial status – Posts demonstrating lavish spending or lifestyle could jeopardize your case for spousal or child support. For example, if you claim to need spousal support, but post pictures of yourself at fancy restaurants, with an expensive new purse, or going on a tropical vacation, your spouse could use that to demonstrate your claim is false or overstated.
  • Evidence of unfit parenting – If your social media posts show activity or a state of mind that is reckless or unstable, you could undermine your case for child custody or visitation rights. For example, posts that exhibit excessive drinking, promiscuous behavior, or violent or hopeless thoughts could be used as evidence to persuade the court that you are an unfit parent.
  • Evidence as grounds for divorce – Your social media posts could be used to demonstrate cruelty, adultery, or other grounds for divorce.

Social Media Can Turn a Family Law Case Ugly

Beyond serving as evidence, your social media activity could simply trigger your spouse into pursuing a less amicable divorce. For example, if you post negative or derogatory comments about your spouse, share pictures of yourself with a new love interest, or otherwise anger your spouse, you could find yourself in a contentious divorce proceeding as they seek vengeance against you.

During your family law case, think twice before you vent or boast on social media. When in doubt, a family lawyer can advise on how best to manage your social media activity during your case.

Tips for Managing Your Social Media Usage

Here are some tips for carefully managing your social media usage during your family law case:

  • Change your passwords – Even if you are not sure that your spouse knows your passwords, it is a good idea to change them anyway.
  • Update your settings – Make your profile is private and prevent anyone from tagging you in posts or pictures. Also, change your settings so that other users cannot place a post on your account without you first reviewing it.
  • Think before you post – Before you post anything, give yourself time to think. Ask yourself, “What would the judge in my case think if they read this?” When in doubt, err on the side of not posting anything, or talk with your lawyer, who can be a sounding board for you during these emotional proceedings.
  • Be aware of what others post about you – It may be helpful to ask friends and family to refrain from posting on your account or about you or your case during this time. Also, be wary of people who are not your friends posting pictures or videos of you on social media.
  • Do not delete your accounts or posts – This could be seen as an inference of guilt or destroying evidence. Furthermore, be honest with your attorney about any social media activity or posts in your past that you think could become problematic in your case. It is best if your lawyer can get ahead of these types of situations.

The Adams Law Firm Can Be Your Sounding Board

Social media, while a useful tool in many ways, can also be used against you in your family law case. It is wise to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can honestly advise you on appropriate social media behavior. The Adams Law Firm advises our clients about how to navigate the precarious world of social media. Before you post, contact our office today at (281) 391-9237 for a confidential consultation.


Welcome to the Blog for Adams Law Firm

Are you facing a family law concern? We understand that this time in your life can be filled with emotion and we aim to provide your clients with valuable representation and peace of mind. Any family law case can be highly stressful and the individuals involved often feel consumed with grief and anxiety. At the Adams Law Firm, our attorneys stand ready to provide you with outstanding legal representation for your case and help you reach an amicable solution in a swift amount of time. Recently, our firm proudly announced the launch of our new user-friendly site and this corresponding blog. This blog will be updated periodically to help provide valuable information to the residents and families of Katy, Texas. Check back soon for updates or contact the Adams Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and see how working with our team can greatly benefit your case. You deserve representation and our dedicated team can help!


5 Divorce Tips for Parents

Going through a divorce can be among the hardest events a family will ever experience, especially when children are involved. It is rare that parents will agree on each aspect of a divorce and issues of child custody, visitation, and child support can be central points of contention. While it is important to consider what works best for each spouse, couples must also keep in mind what is in the best for their children.

Below, our blog outlines advice for divorcing parents to help ensure that the best interests of their family are protected.

5 Tips for Divorcing Parents

  1. Do not fight in front of children: While disagreements and disputes can be an inevitable part of any divorce, it is important to keep this behavior out of your child’s sight. The negative impact of a heated argument or fight can easily leave a lasting impression on a child who may not understand how to interpret the event. Children may feel conflicted or as if they must take sides. When you fight with your spouse, do so at a time and place where your children are not present.
  2. Do not bad mouth your spouse: In most cases of divorce, both parents will continue to play a role in the life of their child. Whether this comes in the form of shared custody or visitation, it is important to preserve the relationship a child has with each parent. Speaking negatively about your spouse can hinder their parent-child relationship as well as the continued healthy development of your child. Divorce can bring feelings of anger and frustration to the surface and parents may not always be aware that they are negatively influencing their children. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to your behavior.
  3. Remain an active part of your child’s life: A divorce can demand much in the way of resources including money, time, and energy. Do not let a legal struggle completely eliminate the time you spend with your child. Continuing to spend quality time with children will help to diminish the negative effects of a divorce and will help you if issues such as child custody become disputed in the courtroom. This can also include keeping up to date with your child’s medical and educational responsibilities. For example, continue to provide support by attending educational events and be aware of upcoming medical appointments.
  4. Provide emotional support: Divorce can take a tremendous emotional toll on children. It is important to continually provide emotional support to children to see that their needs to not become overlooked. As a parent, you can take steps to ensure that children understand that a divorce is not their fault. Children may often feel guilty or conflicted about the disputes of parents.
  5. Do not be afraid to ask questions: Divorce can be both emotionally and legally complicated. If you do not understand an aspect of your case, it is vital to seek clarification. You are not expected to be a legal expert and securing the services of an attorney can help ensure that every party remains on the same page. A knowledgeable family law and divorce attorney can be invaluable in this process, however, in order to receive the best service, potential confusion must be cleared up as soon as possible.

Compassionate Divorce Attorneys

If you are a parent going through a divorce, securing the legal representation of our Katy family law attorneys can make the vital difference in your divorce. At Adams Law Firm, we understand what you are going through and can work tirelessly to see that your needs and that of your children are protected. You do not have to go through this experience alone and our firm can bring more than 35 years of collective legal experience to your case. If you have any questions about how divorce may affect your family, do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Call (281) 391-9237 and talk to an attorney about your divorce today.


Relocating with Children after Divorce

Life is constantly changing and it can be difficult to know what the coming months will bring. This can be especially true after a marriage has come to an end. A living arrangement which may have been in the family’s best interest at the time of a divorce, may not be the optimal situation moving forward. After a divorce, parents who share joint custody may not be able to make the decision to move alone. When spouses go through a divorce, rules are typically set in place, regulating when and where a parent can relocate.

The parent who wishes to relocate must give proper notification to their former spouse, outlining the details of the proposed move. When both parents are in agreement, they are given the opportunity to decide on the terms of a move on their own. However, if a disagreement exists, the issue may be brought before a judge. When ruling on post-divorce agreements such as relocation or on modifications to existing agreements, a judge will consider what is in the best interest of the child.

In determining relocation, a judge may consider factors including:

  1. The reasoning for the requested move
  2. The child’s educational opportunities
  3. The ability of each parent to spend time with their children
  4. How the proposed move will affect a parent’s ability to provide for the child

Except for in cases where one parent presents a direct danger to a child, such as with domestic violence, courts favor awarding joint custody which keeps both parents in the life of a child. In order to modify or remove restrictions on relocation, a parent must typically show that a substantial change in their situation has occurred. For example, if a parent gets a new job or is transferred to a position in a different city, allowing them to better provide for their child, a judge may consider relocation. Typically, when a relocation occurs, post-divorce agreements such as child custody and child support must also be modified to better fit the new situation.

Compassionate Family Law Attorneys

The terms of relocation, child custody, and support can come to affect your family for years or even decades to come. Whether you are requesting a relocation or attempting to contest a move, the Adams Law Firm can work tirelessly to protect your family’s interests. The success of your case can be greatly influenced by your ability to communicate precisely how the proposed move will affect your family. OurKaty family law attorneys can fight tirelessly to see that your voice is heard in the courtroom.

Do you have questions about relocation or another legal issue regarding family law? Call (281) 391-9237 or contact us online today.


Coordinating Child Custody During the Holidays

While the holidays are typically a joyous time of family gatherings and giving thanks, this time of year can be a considerable struggle for families of divorce. In addition to being a reminder of relationships that once were, many parents can often encounter conflict regarding how they will share custody of their children during the holiday season. Fortunately, with the right mindset and spirit of collaboration, coordinating holiday custody and visitation schedules can be accomplished with minimal stress.

To avoid conflict this holiday season, consider the following tips:

  • Determine your priorities: Take some time to reflect critically and determine which holidays and dates are most important to you. For example, you may have a greater attachment to Christmas than New Year’s, while your co-parent may instead favor Thanksgiving. Talk this over with your co-parent and be willing to negotiate a compromise. If both of you prioritize the same days, you may want to consider trading off years or, if you live close enough, share the day.
  • Start early: The earlier you start planning, the more time you will have to identify potential areas of conflict and sort them out. Between shopping for gifts and coordinating travel plans, things can become twice as stressful as the actual date approaches. Likewise, since your child will probably be excited about the season, they will want to know where they will be spending the holidays and with whom. Planning early will allow you to focus your energy on creating a memorable holiday for your children rather than battling with your ex.
  • Write it down: While the initial stages of negotiation may be accomplished verbally or via emails, once you have made an agreement, it is important you memorialize it in written form and have it signed by both you and your co-parent. This will not only ensure that both you and your ex understand your agreement, but it will also serve as important evidence in your favor in the event that they should fail to adhere to its terms.

Unfortunately, not all conflicts can be prevented. If your conflict with your co-parent raises legal questions, contact the Katy family law attorneys at Adams Law Firm today. Having been helping clients throughout Texas sort through complex child custody and family law disputes since 1977, our AV® Rated team of professionals can help you understand your legal options and guide you towards the smoothest resolution possible for your situation.

We want to hear your story. Call (281) 391-9237 or contact us online today to get started.


Dating While Divorcing – Is It A Good Idea?

Now that you and your spouse have made the decision to move forward with a divorce, you might feel like it is the right time to begin this new chapter and dive back into the dating pool. After all, divorce is not only an emotional experience, but a lonely one as well. However, dating before your divorce is finalized is generally an unwise decision as it can have many ramifications on the outcome of settlement and on your personal life as well.

Here are some things to consider if you are wondering whether or not you should date during your divorce:

  1. Strategic Reasons: Divorce is not just about signing papers and dividing assets. It is a highly emotional experience and, when your spouse sees that you are dating someone else, it might feel a lot like someone poking at a very fresh wound. He or she might feel hurt, angry, or resentful and seek revenge to compensate for these feelings by stalling negotiations or fighting you on issues that would have otherwise been resolved with ease. Even if the decision to divorce was mutual, it can stir up some negative feelings that can derail your divorce case.

If you have children, it would be particularly beneficial to refrain from dating until the dust settles. Adding a new partner to the mix can complicate the situation. Given that you will both continue to co-parent even after the divorce, it is best to not add tension and impact how much he or she is willing to cooperate with you.

  1. Legal Reasons: Technically, you are still married until the divorce is officially finalized. In states that recognize fault, dating while going through the process of a divorce might be viewed as adultery and possibly impact how your settlement goes. Play it safe and wait until after the divorce is finalized before you begin dating.
  2. Your Partner Will Be Scrutinized: If you have children and your new partner has a criminal history, this can impact the outcome of your child custody case. Basically, anyone who might potentially have regular contact with your children is subject to investigation, so if your new love interest has a shady past, it might end up costing you custody of your children or even limited visitation rights.
  3. Living With Your New Partner: Having a new special someone in your life can also impact how much spousal support you receive if you end up living together. Why? Well, the courts will assume you are better off since you will be able to share living expenses with your new partner. You would not want to risk receiving a reduced settlement for a relationship that has no guarantee of lasting.
  4. Emotional Reasons: It might feel wonderful to experience the excitement of a new relationship, especially if your new partner lavishes you with the love and attention that might have been lacking in your marriage. However, it is important to question how ready you are for this. People going through a divorce are often incredibly vulnerable and in a state of uncertainty, which is not great foundations for a new relationship that you hope will last. Before you start a new relationship, you will want to feel emotionally and financially ready, so you can truly start fresh.
  5. What If This Person Is the One: It is hard to make permanent choices when your life is changing all around you in dramatic ways. Several studies have shown that the first relationship one enters in the immediate aftermath of a divorce rarely survives. That said, you might still believe this new person is the one for you and it might be true. If this new person is right for you, he or she will be willing to wait.

Of course, many still decide to date regardless of these aforementioned points. If you still want to date, first consult with your lawyer for further advice. He or she might have some sound advice and suggestions for how to keep a new relationship under wraps until the divorce is finalized.

Katy, Texas Divorce Attorneys

If you are considering a divorce or have already been served with divorce papers, now is the time to seek skilled and experienced representation. At Adams Law Firm, we are proud to have represented countless clients throughout the past 35 years, obtaining favorable results and protecting their interests. Our team of Katy family law attorneys is here to provide the exceptional representation you deserve.

Contact us today at (281) 391-9237 to get started on your case.


Divorcing After 50

Over the past 20 years, divorce among couples over 50 has doubled, which has led to the coining of the term “gray divorce.” No matter how old you are, divorce is an emotional and often tumultuous experience that one is never really prepared for. However, for those divorcing later in life, there are some unique hurdles they must overcome.

Here are some key things you will need to complicate if you are divorcing after 50:

  1. The Process: While all divorces ultimately end with two individuals no longer sharing their lives together, the process of how they reach that end can differ greatly and impact the emotional and financial cost. If you believe you and your spouse are able to work out an amicable divorce, you should try to do so. This might involve seeking the assistance of a mediator. However you accomplish this, an amicable divorce is your best shot at saving money and reducing stress.
  2. Your Children: No matter how old your children are, they should always be considered as you go through the process of divorce. If you are over 50, chances are your children are older. There is often a lot of concern for children who are younger, but that does not mean older children should be neglected as you and your spouse sever your shared life. Consider how you choose to break the news to them and try not to create any tension in their lives.
  3. Your Finances: For individuals over 50, this is often one of the most concerning issues. Why? You are past your prime income earning years and likely looking toward retirement. This shift from saving and accumulation to consumption makes both parties less able to recover from financial mistakes, so the division of retirement benefits, such as a 401(k) or IRA, needs to be done thoughtfully. How you and your spouse choose to divide these assets will depend on numerous factors, including life expectancy, age difference, and other sources of available income.
  4. The Emotional Aspect: Since you are divorcing later in life, it is likely your marriage lasted longer than younger couples who divorce, making this a pretty dramatic change for your life. It is important to take some time to examine how you feel about it. The better you understand yourself and what you are going through, the easier it will be to make sound decisions during the process.

No two divorces are alike and, as such, yours will be specific to you and your own set of circumstances. As you embark on this new chapter in your life, address what is within your control and find the right guidance for questions that should be left to professionals.

Divorce Attorneys in Katy, Texas

At Adams Law Firm, we understand the challenges associated with divorce and all the emotions this process can stir. We have represented countless clients over the past 35 years, obtaining favorable resolutions and protecting their interests. Our team of Katy family law attorneys is ready to provide you with the outstanding representation you deserve.

Contact us today at (281) 391-9237 to get started on your case.


When Is My Divorce Final?

Divorce is not an easy experience and no one really wants it to draw out any longer than is necessary, especially since it will only cost more, add stress, and make you feel as though you are stuck in limbo. You might be wondering when your divorce is officially considered final, so you can move forward with a new chapter in your life. Here is what you need to know about the final step in your divorce:

  • The Divorce Decree: Your divorce decree contains all of the important information about your divorce settlement, whether it was reached through litigation or negotiating with your spouse. It is essentially everything you have worked for over the course of months or even years, depending on your specific circumstances.
  • The Divorce Certificate: Not to be confused with the divorce decree, your divorce certificate is not a court document, but rather a document that is issued by the state for record-keeping purposes. It will not contain the details of your divorce settlement. It basically serves to prove you are divorced from your spouse.

Your divorce will officially become final once a judge signs your divorce decree. It will be sent to your attorney and he or she will send you a copy. The date on your decree is the date of your divorce.

Divorce Attorney in Katy, Texas

Deciding to get divorced is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary. If you and your spouse have chosen to call it quits, you will need skilled representation on your side. At Adams Law Firm, we have proudly represented countless clients throughout the past 35 years, assisting in obtaining favorable resolutions to their divorce proceedings. Let us do the same for you.

Contact our office today at (281) 391-9237 to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable member of our Katy legal team.


Why You Should Stay Off Social Media During Your Divorce

Social media is no longer the rarity it once was when it began. Nowadays, just about everyone is plugged in, sharing their thoughts, pictures, and even the smallest details of their lives with friends, family, and acquaintances. While this is generally not a problem for most, it can pose a major risk for those who are in the midst of a divorce and can ultimately affect the outcome of their case.

You might be wondering how something as seemingly innocuous as social media can negatively impact your divorce. Here is a list of some of the main reasons:

  1. Pictures can say a lot: If you are familiar with the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, then it should be clear that posting pictures on social media can say a lot more than a simple status update. Pictures can reveal your lifestyle, which might suggest that you are not fit to be a parent if you are engaging in questionable behavior.
  2. It reveals your spending habits: Of course, no one usually posts how much something costs on social media, but if you are posting about lavish vacations or your swanky new electronic device, people might assume you are a big spender and are probably doing well. This in itself is not an issue, but if you are fighting for lower spousal or child support payments, posts that hint at your expenses or income are only going to make you look like a liar.
  3. Your friends might out you: Chances are you share plenty of mutual friends with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, especially if you had a relatively lengthy marriage. Some of these friends are going to feel the need to choose sides, which means those that are loyal to your ex-spouse might share information that you post on social media with him or her. Since you cannot know for certain which friends are loyal to you or to your ex, it is best to simply not post anything that might be incriminating.

If you absolutely cannot stay off social media, carefully consider every post you make. If you would not want a judge to see it, then do not post it at all. Too much is at stake, so do not gamble with your future.

Katy Family Law Attorney

If you and your spouse have decided to move forward with a divorce, now is the time to obtain the skilled and experienced representation you need to smoothly navigate you through this emotional and complex process. At the Adams Law Firm, our legal team has over 35 years of experience, which we will put to use for you to ensure that your interests are protected.

Contact us today at (281) 391-9237 to get started.


Stepparent Adoptions: What You Need to Know

If your new spouse has children from a previous relationship, you might want to further unify your family by adopting them. This process is generally easier than adopting a child who is not related to either party, but it can still present some hurdles, depending on the circumstances. In Texas, to adopt a stepchild, one of the following circumstances must apply: the other parent is absent, deceased, unknown, or not involved in the child’s life. Additionally, the child must be in the custody of the parent to whom the petitioning stepparent is currently married.

Adopting a stepchild in Texas

Before you embark on this rewarding journey, it is important to understand the process. Here are the steps a stepparent must follow in Texas:

  • File a petition: Every stepparent adopting begins with the stepparent filing a petition to adopt his or her stepchild, which should be filed with his or her local family court.
  • Termination of parental rights: After filing a petition, your adoption attorney can move forward to the next step, which is to obtain a termination of parental rights from the absent parent, if the parent is known and still living. The other parent must consent to terminate his or her parental rights before the stepparent adoption can be done. If he or she refuses, the case will move to court where a judge will determine if the adoption is in the best interest of the children involved for the parent’s rights to be terminated.
  • Social study: If the court determines that it is indeed within the best interests of the children for the other parent’s rights to be terminated, the next step would be a social study of the prospective family. This would involve a visit to the home, evaluation of employment and financial records, observations, and an initial screening with the parents and children. The results of this process are meant to assist the judge in determining the fitness of a stepparent to adopt his or her stepchildren.
  • Amicus attorney: After the social study is complete, an amicus attorney will be appointed. This attorney is non-biased and appointed by the court to repeat some of the previous evaluations to help determine if the situation is best for the children and the family. The opinion of the amicus attorney and the results of the social study will both be presented to the court with a recommendation regarding whether or not the adoption should be finalized.

Adoption Attorneys in Katy

Adopting your stepchild is a wonderful way to bring your family together. While the process is easier than other types of adoptions, it still requires the legal assistance of a skilled adoption attorney. At Adams Law Firm, our Katy family law attorneys can greatly assist you in a number of ways and will ensure all paperwork is properly completed and filed in a timely manner.

Contact our office today at  (281) 391-9237 to get started on your case.

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