facebook-and-instagram-imageSocial media influences everything these days, from pop-culture to even divorce. To elucidate this point, simply try to find one person in your family, or among your friends, or peers at work that does not have a Facebook account. It is everywhere, unavoidable, and ineluctable. The courtroom is not immune to its presence either. When divorce is involved, the question of electronic evidence, and social media evidence, in particular, comes into play in various ways. Modern relationships fall hazard to the sometimes illicit goings-on of spouses that end up publicized for all the world to see.

Attorneys have to account for these modern times and the Facebook or Instagram posts.  Instagram has become the new forerunner of posts into the personal lives of parties.  People must become aware that once a divorce opens up on Court the social media accounts become public record.  That is to say that they provide an instant insight into happenings of the parties real personal lives and their true feelings about one another and what they are hiding from the divorce proceedings and the court.

The numbers don’t lie here. Social media is affecting relationships and being brought to bear on divorce litigation in serious and important ways. For a lawyer to effectively use (or defend against) social media evidence in a divorce case, he or she needs to understand both the ramifications of admitting such evidence and the legal precedent therein.

beckThe Singer Beck and his wife of 14 years have decided to call it quits and get divorced after a 14 year marriage.  The pop star decided it was over after Valentines day this year and gave her the news. Beck is a practicing Scientologist so it adds a twist as to how the two children will be raised post split up.  In child custody cases religion can be a major source of conflict on raising the children. This might create a high conflict child custody dispute. The two children are eleven years old and 14 years old.  Becks wife is Marissi Ribissi who is the brother of Giovanni Ribissi.

In addition, Beck is actively involved in movie projects which could effect the division of divorce property for the two exes. Movie project residuals will cause a dispute among Hollywood A listers when they get divorced. Earlier this week, Beck released a song called “Super Cool” for the soundtrack of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.”

Beck has won seven Grammy’s in his career, including Album of the Year in 2015 for “Morning Phase.” He won two at this year’s awards: Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Many people feel that if they are going to get divorced they need to find a least adversarial way in order to resolve all the issues of the divorces such as Spousal support, Child support, and property division.  And thus recently there has been a push by many divorcees to go the that way.  However, issues have arisen that might be an impediment to an easy mediation, divorce free conflict amongst litigants going through a divorce.  Everyone believes and rightfully so that everything during the mediation process remains confidential and thus all agreements are set in stone. However, such is not the case.

A recent article from The National Law Review cited a recent case where the confidentiality provision of the medation agreement did not get signed.  Therefore the alleged agreement between the parties was not proven to be an agreement in the Court of Law.  As a result all the hard work and time and and effort put into paying a mediator and getting a divorce agreement done out of court was for nought.  This kind of situation can occur more likely than not if your mediator or the parties are not experienced at doing the mediation process.  In the case cited above the alleged agreement between the parties could not be show in the court of law because the parties never signed a waiver of confidentiality clause. Therefore the agreement could not hold weight nor was admissible in the Court of law.

In order for the mediation agreement to be a part of the Divorce proceedings the parties would have needed to sign a waiver of confidentiality which would then let the mediation document become admissible in a court of law.  Normally all mediations are confidential and therefore cannot be brought into the legal setting without a waiver of confidentiality signed by both parties.

In June, Kentucky will become the first state to require a presumption of equally shared parenting in child-custody cases even when one or more parents is opposed. While it’s common for states to prefer joint custody when both parents are amenable, Kentucky’s presumption will apply even without divorcing parents on board. This is a major breakthrough in developing a parenting plan that is often difficult and expensive to come by in family law Courts in California and across the United  States.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed the measure in April, declaring that judges must presume “that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child” in almost all divorce cases. Last year, Kentucky required the same presumption for temporary child-custody cases while divorce is pending. Again, for a state to implement such a broad and powerful message to family law courts across America and Kentucky is quite outstanding.  Custody is often so tumultuous to fight in court that to add a presumption of 50/50 without any fighting in court is really setting a different type of  family law custody standard now.

Exceptions exist for situations “involving an incident of domestic violence within the preceding three years” or where “there has been a domestic violence order entered” or being entered. Obviously when there is violence the joint  custody presumption must be sidelined in order to keep the child safe from any potential violence or abuse.

Dennis Quaid is divorced again and this time he has to divide much more than he did with his prior famous wife Meghan Ryan .  This new wife is no famous nor did she have the income that his prior famous wife had.  Apparently there is as lot of property and children to divide and since he is the bread winner he will have to fork up way more money to her than she to him.  When you are a movie star you make movies and wives or husbands that are married or famous celebrity movie stars can make a very good investment for their future.

A movie is like putting money way in the bank for the celebrities and their exes.  Because movies have something called residuals.  Residuals pay out into the future and are determined by how well the movie does in future years.  So if a party was married for a number of years to their movie star spouse and then divorce they can claim residuals for the movies that were made during the life of the marriage.  Its pretty cool I would say.  So Kimberly Quaid will be receiving a portion of Dennis Quaid’s residuals for her entire life as long as the movie that was made during her marriage makes money down the road.

As many of you remember Dennis Quaid had a pair of twins boys who are 10 years old.  The boys were the subject of lawsuit against Cedar Sinai Hospital when they were born because the hospital accidentally gave them Heparin and they almost died.  Apparently the couple will share joint custody of the boys.  There are two types of custody the family court recognizes.   Legal custody is where both parents will decide the best schools and medical care for the child.  physical custody is how the time share will be distributed. Dennis Quaid is said to have gotten 25% of the timeshare and Kimberly Quaid got 75%.

Married at First Sight” star Nate Duhon last week filed to divorce Sheila Downs, whom he met and married last year at the Palmer House Hilton as cameras rolled for the Lifetime network series. What is not stated about divorces is that getting married can be very easy and without any complications.  However,  getting divorced can be very complicated and very difficult.  The fun out of the married and whats next a divorce.  This is what is sounds like occurred to the couple on the  Chicago season of Married at First Sight.  Im not sure how well the contestants knew each other  before  they got married.  But from the looks of it they probably did not know each other very well

Duhon, 26, cited irreconcilable differences in his Nov. 14 filing in Cook County court. Downs lives in Arlington Heights, while Duhon has moved back to his home state of Michigan, court records show. Downs and Duhon, who both did not respond to a Tribune request for comment, are the second “Married at First Sight” couple from Season 5 to split.

 Apparently Duhon was not the first contestant to seek a divorce on this show as Genoa native Cody Knapek filed for divorce from Chicago dietitian Danielle DeGroot on Sept. 26. That case is expected to be heard in court Wednesday.

It has come to the attention of the public that the ongoing divorce saga of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has made a very interesting turn on the part of the Brad Pitt. It was revealed that Pitt and Jolie have a $400 million divorce.  It has become apparent that Brad Pitt has seriously tried to settle the divorce from Angelina Jolie. He does earn more than her however she does earn a substantial amount of money as well. However, during long term marriages in California both parties have to maintain the standard of living they had lived during the marriage.  Therefore Brad Pitt after having consulted his lawyer probably decided to make an initial offer to Angelina in a show of good faith.  However Angelina turned down Brad’s divorce settlement offer. “Brad basically told his attorney to give Angie whatever amount of money she wants to settle the divorce, even though they have a prenup,” an insider tells us, adding “he is willing to give her half” of his $250 million fortune. Having a prenuptial agreement is a strong position for Brad Pitt to be in under these circumstances where he might have earning more money than Angelina.  However, I think Brad is not holding fast to a document that will dictate how his finances are disbursed during a divorce.  He is definitely taking the high road. He is also thinking about how Angelina needs to live and how she lived during the marriage.

But despite his generosity, Angelina, 42, won’t take it. “Angie has rejected every single monetary settlement offer,” says the insider, adding that she’s also continued to push back on his efforts to gain more custody of their six kids, Maddox, 16, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 9.  Herein lies the problem with settling the divorce.  If Angelina is holding tight to keep Brad out of the children’s lives it could be a long and drawn out divorce that might not have an immediate end as to an entire divorce judgment on all issues.  There might be a reservation on certain issues that will be litigated in the future if need be.

“He isn’t trying to buy Angie off and couldn’t care less about how he is perceived in the public eye when they do come to an eventual settlement,” says the insider, explaining that after weathering a child abuse investigation last year (he eventually was cleared of any wrongdoing) and publicly confessing that he’s struggled with alcohol issues for years, Brad, 53, feels he has nothing left to lose. “Brad’s motivation is first and foremost the kids,” insists the insider. “Giving Angie a substantial chunk of his fortune will give the kids the quality of life they are used to with no changes.”

House Republicans’ initial tax-reform plan removed the adoption tax credit, which helps families defray the high cost of adoption. The backlash was swift.

Conservatives argued the move ran contrary to the pro-life principles so integral to the party’s platform. Adoptive parents spoke out about the exorbitant cost of the process.

Google engineer Brandon Jones wrote that adopting his first son cost $50,000, a lump sum he paid before any of the official machinations of the adoption can begin. He noted that many families take out second mortgages on their home or ask for donations and loans from their family and friends. The tax credit is a lifeline.

A proposed dramatic change to the tax rules of divorce in the House Republicans’ tax reform bill (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) would undoubtedly create additional burdens to couples getting divorced if it becomes law.

The bill would eliminate the tax deduction for alimony and make alimony income tax-free to the recipient for divorce decrees executed after December 31, 2017; it wouldn’t affect existing divorces. The Senate Republicans’ tax reform bill does not change the alimony rules.

Under current law, ex-spouses who pay alimony can deduct the expense from their federal income taxes; ex-spouses receiving alimony payments have to claim the money as taxable income. (The bill’s alimony provision is projected to raise about $8 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.)

Spousal support payments mandated by divorce agreements could lose their beneficial tax treatment.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, unveiled on Thursday, includes a provision to kill the deduction that taxpayers get for making such payments to an ex-spouse. Although it’s just one of the many tax breaks eliminated under the legislation, experts say it will end up most hurting the person receiving the money.

Spousal support payers won’t be able to afford to give as much because they’ll have to give it to Uncle Sam instead,” said Nancy Hetrick, a certified divorce financial analyst and senior advisor at Better Money Decisions in Phoenix, Arizona. “There will be less money to go around to support the two households.”