Articles Posted in Internet / Technology

3661_computer_components.jpgFlorida divorce and custody battles can impact the parent-child relationship and often raise concerns for both mother and father. Often, parties are concerned that since they may not see their child on a daily basis that the relationship with their child will lessen over time. While telephone communication is vital to maintaining the relationship with the parent and child, a parent that lives long distance from the child, especially, may miss the face-to-face interaction and want more than simple phone calls. With the invention of webcams and communication availability through things such as Skype, the courts have had to evolve to include such mechanisms. As a Jacksonville, Florida divorce and family lawyer I often ask my clients if they have access to the internet and whether the computer has webcam accessibility because I want to make certain that if video conferencing is available, that we request the court enter an order for electronic communication.

In accordance with Florida statute 61.13003, the Court may look at a number of factors before ruling on the use of electronic communication. Some of the factors include but are not limited to the availability of the equipment to both parties; whether the parties can afford the electronics necessary; the incomes of the parties to determine who should be responsible and how for the costs; whether telephone communication; whether there is a substance abuse issue of a parent; and if it is in the best interest of the child to have such communication.

If the court finds that electronic communication is in the best interest of the child, then the court also may impose safeguards to protect the parent and child from abuse of the electronic communication. There are concerns for safety online, so the Court has the discretion to impose rules on where the communication may occur, what time, etc.

Internet.jpgA recent article in The Boston Globe profiled another job category created specifically by the Internet: online reputation managers. And even the divorced are hiring them to bury their online divorce records so potential new mates won’t learn more than they need to know when they Google them.

While most people who use online reputation managers are those who want to bury a bad review of their business or find and delete all the party images of themselves on other people’s Facebook pages before job hunting, there are those who need these services for more personal reasons.

One recently divorced woman hired an online reputation manager to remove some painful references to her online divorce records prior to her launching a new dating life online.

Facebook.jpgWhat eHarmony is to dating and marriage, Facebook is becoming for divorce. According to a recent article on Florida divorces, Facebook provides Florida spouses with fertile ground for rekindling old flames and posting all sorts of self-incriminating evidence for the rest of the world to see. It also provides a public soapbox for couples to air their dirty laundry.

Once one partner posts something nasty, the other can’t help but respond and then a tiff turns into all out war. Experts predict that the public meltdown of marriage and relationships will only increase as the YouTube generation starts to marry – and divorce.

A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed that more than 80% of divorce attorneys have dealt with a divorce that involved Facebook. MySpace and Twitter were also mentioned. The social media phenomenon is actually helping divorce attorneys gather evidence for their clients. Now instead of hiring private investigators, they can simply log on and capture screen images of the other spouse’s social media accounts.

Facebook.jpgSocial networking has become a popular form of interaction and expression for people of all ages. It is no wonder that Facebook has started to get mixed up with divorces.

For example, a Tampa, Florida woman videotaped many of her fights with her soon to be ex-husband and then posted the screaming matches on Facebook. Another Florida man used his Facebook page to document his frustrations with parenting, only to have his journal entries used against him in court by his soon to be ex-wife.

Of course, there are also plenty of stories about old flames rekindling on Facebook as well as inappropriate flirting and texting with new found friends that can lead to divorce. There is an upside to Facebook and divorce, though. Parents report that they can use Facebook updates to keep in touch with their kids better when they are with the other parent.


Evander Holyfield was once the world heavyweight boxing champion. Now he is involved in another type of battle; this one is to save his third marriage from heading toward divorce. After a series of public foibles, Holyfield and his third wife, Candi, are scheduled to appear on the Dr. Phil show to discuss their faltering marriage.

In a statement, the couple said that they admired Dr. Phil’s “heartfelt approach” in helping couples in trouble. Dr. Phil is a former psychologist made famous by appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show. Several years ago Dr. Phil was awarded his own television talk show where he helps people deal with difficult times in their lives.

The Holyfield’s are expected to open up about their less-than-perfect private life, including how Holyfield struck his wife recently. Critics accuse Holyfield and his wife of seeking attention rather than real healing, and point out that an abusive relationship and a troubled marriage cannot be saved in a one hour television show.

Snowman.jpg is an unusual dating site; they cater to married people looking to date outside of their relationships. The site usually draws around eight to ten thousand visitors a day, but a recent nationwide cold snap pushed the number of visitors up to twenty five thousand. That’s not terrible news for couples living in Florida – also known as the “sunshine state.”

According to company founder Noel Biderman, he was not surprised by the spike in visitors during the recent cold snap, saying that when people are trapped indoors they tend to explore the internet more. He reports that January is typically a strong month for sign-ups (perhaps coincidentally, January is also a strong month for divorce filings). The day after Valentine’s Day is also quite popular.

Biderman has come under intense criticism for condoning and even encouraging people to be unfaithful to their spouses. But Biderman defends his business, saying that his members are at least being honest about their marital status, unlike on other dating sites. He also believes that if infidelity were condoned, there would be fewer divorces. The “happily married” father of two says that he is not anti-marriage; he just believes that sexual monogamy destroys loving relationships.

Intrernet.jpgAround fourteen million Brits use Facebook and other social networking sites to keep up with old friends or make new ones. A group of British divorce lawyers are claiming that social networking sites like Facebook are tempting people to cheat on their spouses – and the website has been cited in 20% of recent divorce cases. According to the attorneys, people are being caught having inappropriate sexual chats with people who are not their spouse, and in the electronic age it is just too easy for their spouse to catch them at it. Flirty emails and messages have been reported, as well as evidence of actual affairs.

In one case a woman discovered that her husband was planning to divorce her when she read his public status update on Facebook. In another case, a woman divorced her husband after learning he was carrying on a virtual affair with a woman he met on Second Life, a virtual world where people are able to reinvent themselves.

Some software companies are cashing in on the trend by developing applications that let suspicious spouses spy on their partner’s online activities. Read more about how social networking can ruin a marriage at Facebook fuelling divorce, research claims.

Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Florida Family Law Attorney

In Jacksonville, Florida, as a family law attorney, I receive questions about terminating parental rights. This is not an easy process since there are many protections in place for parents. I will probably do a series of blogs on this topic in order to cover each area, but we will start with the consent and agreement of both parties.

International adoptions are popular not only among Madonna and Angelina Jolie, but Jacksonville, Florida residents as well. As a family law attorney I have clients call once they adopted out of the country and they want to make certain their adoption is legal in the U.S. and in Florida.
Once a child is adopted by a foreign court that document finalizing the adoption can be accepted by the Florida courts as well. The procedure for doing so is important to protect yourself and any issues that may arise regarding that child.
The Florida courts do recognize foreign decrees, foreign orders, but you must petition the court to recognize the decree or order. It is best to speak with an attorney regarding this matter to make certain that all requirements are met from the beginning to speed up the finalization of your adoption which has clearly been a long time coming at this point.

International adoptions, like Madonna’s, have made the news for years in Jacksonville, Florida and throughout the country. As a family law attorney in Jacksonville, I have clients call to find out the process for such adoptions.
The reality is, as evident in Madonna’s current court case in Africa, each country has different adoption laws. In Malawi, where the child resides in Madonna’s case, there is a residency requirement for adoptions. That issue, not the paternity issue, is actually what’s holding things up for the adoption of Chifundo James. Madonna, feeling that celebrity and money can beat laws, is now caught up in the court system to show the best interest of the child is to be adopted regardless of the residency requirement.
This case is a good example of why the normal adopting family should first look into the laws associated with the country they would like to adopt from. You don’t want to get in a situation where you required to relocate for a significant period of time if you don’t have to. It’s best to contact an attorney where you live to help you in your process from the beginning.

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