Enemy in a Divorce

Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram May Be Your Worst Enemy in a Divorce

No one can argue that social media has permeated every aspect of our society.  Everyone from your youngest friend to your oldest relative communicates on one form of social media or another.  As of 2017 a huge 81% of people had a social media profile of one kind or another.  With numbers that huge it’s a safe assumption that the parties involved in a divorce will have one or even all of these types of accounts.  Experienced family lawyers will tell you the consequence is that documenting and presenting social media evidence is now a critical part of family law proceedings.

Ultimately, the statements on social media are often a doubled-edged sword:  they are typically emotional, sometimes rash.  One the one hand, social media is uniquely set up to be electronically preserved since it exists in a digital format already.  What is said, posted, or streamed on social media now becomes a prime opportunity to illustrate negative behavior about an opposing party.  Here’s an example: if one party claims that the other has a substance abuse issue, a Facebook album titled “Trashed Tuesdays” full of documented drunken exploits could certainly be useful evidence.

People are people, as the saying goes, and it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to get them to stop “knee-jerk” reactions to a baiting Facebook post, or to stop posting damaging or derogatory thoughts about the opposing party via social media.

Here is a family law version of the Miranda rights that will prove useful in a divorce (created by Greg Golden):

You have the right to remain silent – Anything you type can and will be used against you in your divorce.

You have the right to exercise “common sense” – good decisions are rarely, if ever, are the result of an emotionally-driven response.  Also, the other party may be baiting you into such a response so that your perceived irrationality will be brought up in court, to your detriment.

You have the right to discuss an appropriate post/twee/message with your attorney before you let you emotions get the better of you and you send it – if you cannot talk to your attorney before sending such a post/tweet/message, then think about whether your attorney would approve of such a communication.

Do you understand the rights that I have just described?  – With these rights in mind, do you still wish to send that post/tweet/message?

If you’re investigating another party in  a divorce, what types of social media sites and applications should you search?  Research shows that there are over eleven different applications that have over ten million monthly users.  But, for the sake of clarity and for this example we’ll narrow the applications to:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat or even Text Messages.

It’s important to understand that different sites and user profiles have different levels of security and different levels of “publicity”.  Knowing this make the point clear that discovery should be conducted as early as possible, even before a  case is filed, if you think the opposing party  may change their privacy settings and effectively block you from conducting your investigation.

Facebook

For Facebook has several integrated applications: messenger, a mobile version of the website (an application), a desktop version (also an application), and version of the site access via a web browser.  For conducting this investigation the most preferable version is to use the desktop application.   From there you can print or save as a PDF every page you where you find interesting information.  On Facebook consider exploring: Family and Relationships, Photo Albums, and Tags.

Business Contract

Need Guidance with your Business Contract?

Commercial Law Specialists can help you understand Terms and Conditions

You may wish to start or operate a business with multiple partners as this often brings its own set of advantages to the business. Commercial lawyers can help you understand the legal jargon as well as terms and conditions mentioned in business agreement. Interpreting the different conditions and stipulations will help you understand your position as a partner. Businesses owned by multiple partners (as opposed to a sole proprietor) enjoy certain benefits. For example, the business may be able to borrow a greater amount of money from lending institutions (like banks) compared to what a sole proprietor may be able to borrow on his or her own. Similarly, risks tend to be spread out among partners rather than incurred by a single individual and moreover, you can share management and control with other partners.

However, it is not practical to agree to all the terms and conditions orally (In cases of breaches of contract etc and in the absence of a formal contract, these situations could be difficult to resolve). People may often forget verbal conversations and this is why it pays to have a contract in place. The business agreement is a formal, written contract that clearly explains the expectations of all the parties as well as describes actions in the event of other eventualities. Rather than simply agree to an oral agreement, a written business contract is legal and legitimate and it’s crucial that you understand the terms that you’re agreeing to. In addition to containing clauses, terms and conditions that will be honoured in an Australian court of law, business contracts also help safeguard the resources of the business from fraud.

Professional Legal Advisors will tell you that you may require a business contract in any of the following situations:

Distributing Inherited Property

Do you have to Share Inherited Property following Divorce?

Family Lawyers can help you Protect your Rightful Share

After marriage, it’s a common tendency to treat individual assets, including houses, cars, boats, jewellery etc as a shared pool of assets between partners. Contrary to popular belief, family lawyers suggest that inherited property does not automatically fall under the shared pool of assets. Each divorce is characterised by different circumstances and thus, each case is unique in its own way. Distribution of property in divorce cases, including inherited property, is decided according to the guidelines listed in the Family Law Act under Australian law.

In fact, keeping in mind the increasing rates of divorce in Australia, Online Legal Advisors have told us it’s important for couples to be aware of laws governing the distribution of inherited valuables, assets and property. Hence, it’s important for couples to understand how different factors play a role in deciding the distribution of inherited property in case of divorce.

  • The manner in which the Family Court will decide the distribution of inherited assets will depend to a large extent on the nature of the bequest. Some assets or property may be bequeathed to one partner while others may be bequeathed to both.
Family Lawyers

How Family Lawyers Can Help You

You might consider family lawyers such as Robinson Family Lawyers to be only necessary to help you through the bad things in life such as separation and divorce, but they are there to support you through many different kinds of happenings, many of which are very pleasant. When there are major changes in your life such as getting married or moving into a new home, your solicitors can help smooth the way.

  • Marriage- Once you get married you’ll need to change your Will, because the former one is no longer valid. If you’ve been divorced, your Will is no longer valid either, so you need to see a solicitor to have it changed.
  • New family – Once you have children, you’ll want to include them in your Will. Some people set up trust funds for their children to help with their education or to ensure they get a certain amount of money at a specific age.
  • Real estate – when you purchase your first home or any subsequent real estate, it is important to have the services of a family solicitor to ensure all the documents are correct. The lawyer will be able to do all the necessary work such as preparing documents and agreements to ensure no one takes advantage of you.
  • Property – when you make major purchases of other things apart from your home, you’ll want a solicitor to go over all the papers to ensure they are in order.
  • Adoption – often, a couple decide to adopt children, sometimes from overseas. You’ll need to services of a family lawyer to facilitate the matter.

Few people can go through their whole life without something unpleasant happening to them, whether it is a car accident, divorce, or something else. Having family lawyer on hand who knows you can be really helpful and make you feel that you are not alone.

First Time Litigation

7 Tips to Deal with First-Time Litigation

When you start a business one of the joys is often knowing that you are helping people get what they want and so fulfilling their needs or solving their problems. So when someone files a lawsuit against you it can make you feel really bad, more especially when you know what happened was not your fault.  Here are some tips to help you deal with it.

  • Get competent and experienced litigation lawyers immediately. You just cannot deal with litigation on your own, there is too much legal work that needs to be done if you are going to get a good result. And the quicker this starts, the better it will be for you. The better the lawyer, the better outcome you will get.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and go easy on yourself for feeling them. Don’t try to hide them and act tough.  It is normal to have a roller-coaster ride of different emotions from fear and resentment through to anger and frustration. Take time out for yourself to relax while still working on your business.
  • Turn to your support network of family and friends. Knowing they are there to support you makes all the difference to your mental anguish at such a time.
  • Understand that fighting for ‘right’ is not always possible due to the prohibitive costs of lawsuits. Try and settle out of court if you can and it will save you stress, time and money, even if you have to pay for something that was not your fault. Make the decision based on what makes the most sense for your business rather than on an emotional basis. Know that a great percentage of lawsuits are settled this way.
business-financial-advisor

The Difference Between a Lawyer, Accountant and a Financial Advisor

When it comes to business, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can help you, both at the beginning and throughout the life of your business. Lawyers, accountants and financial planners all have important roles to fill when it comes to business. Some of these people may be needed on a regular basis, while the need for others comes and goes, depending on what your business goals are.

For instance, financial planning is essential before you even start your business, to ensure the concept is a viable one. Without this in your business plan, the lenders won’t be able to tell if the idea is a good one that will make a profit; something they need to know if they are going to lend you money. A financial planner can also help you grow your business once it is established. They can ensure you get the most out of your business profits by creating an investment plan. Simply putting money in the bank is not the best way to invest it these days.

shareholder-disputes

3 Ways to Handle Shareholder Disputes

There are many people involved in running a business from management to staff to shareholders. Often disputes arise, especially when shareholders think management is making poor business decisions that affect their income from the business. When disputes arise they often need to be handled by a commercial lawyer, but there are some other methods that can be used to get the issues solved quickly and cost-effectively.

  • This is when an independent mediator is used to help the parties involved make good decisions. The mediator doesn’t make the decisions; their expertise lies in facilitating discussion and defusing tense situations that do nothing to help get the matter resolved. An independent mediator is a neutral party who is not affected by the outcome of the dispute; this is why both parties feel they can be trusted.
Causes-of-Litigation

The Many Causes of Litigation

When you own or run a business, litigation is one of the many hazards that you may face.  It is essential to consult with your commercial lawyers for sound legal advice and find out what steps are needed to resolve all kinds of disputes quickly and prevent litigation that could be the ruination of your business. Taking out insurance to cover litigation is also essential, otherwise you could find yourself bankrupt.

Here are some of the causes of litigation that businesses face and tips to prevent it: –

  • Accidental or intentional injury of a client or customer on the business premises. Prevention includes ensuring your workplace is safe for both customers and employees. Prompt dispute resolution practices should be instigated at the first sign of trouble.
  • Accidental injury of an employee during the pursuit of his or her employment. Workplace injuries are a fact of life. You can help prevent them by adopting safe practices and training staff to do their work safely.
  • Intentional injury by another worker on the premises. Another reason for dispute resolution strategies.
  • Defamation of a client or an employee by the company. Watch what you say. People can get irritated and say things they don’t mean. People can become offended and sue.
  • Sexual harassment by an employee or manager to an employee. Training staff how to behave properly should not be necessary – but it is.
Business-Structures

The Different Kinds of Business Structures

If you are considering setting up a business, there are different kinds of business structures that you need to know about. This will enable you to decide which one best suits the type of business you have in mind. It is a good idea to consult with lawyers to ensure you are choosing the right structure and that you comply with all the rules and regulations. This could also assist you with any future possible business disputes including shareholder disputes.

Once you decide and start up your business, it is always a good idea to keep those lawyers on hand so you can get their advice on any legal matter that may arise. They will be familiar with your business by then and be able to offer the needed advice quickly, which is good when time is of the essence.

Here are the four main business models: –

  • Sole Trader – many people who set up a home business or an e-business at home are sole traders. As the name implies, they work by themselves without any employees. They alone are responsible for debts and they also own all the profits. They may need to consult with a solicitor to find out some of the things needed for their business. Council permission may be needed to start up a business from home, especially if clients need to go there.
estate-planning

5 Estate Planning Steps to Consider Before Seeing the Lawyer

If you are considering estate planning to take care of your assets and divide them properly between your loved ones, experienced family lawyers will tell you to write down the information they need before you make an appointment with them. In this way they will have all the information to hand and can get on with the job, saving you both time and money.

So to that end, here is a list of steps you need to take to ensure you have everything covered.

  • Physical assets – these are house, car or any other vehicle you may own and any other asset worth over $100. This can include electronic devices, home theatre, camera, artwork, engagement rings, ornaments and expensive clothing such as a fur coat or your wedding dress.
  • Non-physical assets – these will include bank accounts and investments of all kinds. Include the names of the banks and account details as well as the companies you have shares with. It will also include such things as life insurance, other forms of insurance, annuities, pensions and superannuation. Make sure these are all updated with the nominated beneficiaries information still being current.
  • Liabilities – all the debt you owe should also be listed. This includes home loans, business debts, car loans and the balances on your credit cards, if any. You need to think about how you want such debts to be paid off in the event of your death. Add up your total debts so you can work out whether the sale of a specific asset would be enough to pay it all.