Transferring a Case

If and when you decide to switch counsel on a matter, you will want to be sure the transition is smooth.

The first step is to fully communicate with both attorneys so they understand the case is being transferred, the timing of the transfer, and your goals for the transfer.  Encourage them to call one another to discuss the case.  You might also ask former counsel to share his objectives and strategy with new counsel.

The next step is to make sure your file is copied and delivered to new counsel.  The file should include the notes, correspondence, pleadings, and court documentation.  Your former counsel may need a little time to copy and send the file, which is all the more reason to clue him in as soon as possible.

Finally, as you move forward with new counsel, be sure to specifically state your goals for this new representation.  You don’t want to have to transfer counsel a second time.  You will find that attorneys are hesitant to take cases that have already transferred counsel once. 

GUEST BLOG POST: Social Media and Divorce: 5 Useful Tips to Follow

The divorce process can be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to go through. Naturally, you may feel the urge to post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts about what you are going through. You should be aware, though, that your spouse’s legal team will likely have access to anything you post on the internet. Even if you have increased your privacy, it’s always better to be safe than to reveal information about yourself that could be damaging to your case. Here are a few tips to follow in regards to your social media while going through a divorce.

1.    Keep Mutual Friends in Mind. You may have unfriended your spouse, but be aware of any mutual friends you may both have. You may think you know someone very well and can trust them not to tell your spouse about whatever you are posting. However, there are many instances where this is not the case.

2.    Be Mindful of Pictures you are Posting, Check-Ins, and other Activity. Do not post inappropriate pictures or pictures that would depict you in an unfavorable light (drinking, etc.) You may want to also hold off on “checking in” at the bar or any other locations that may be able to be used against you. Just to be on the safe side, it may be wise to post the least amount of personal information possible.

3.    Change your Privacy Settings to make yourself Less Visible. You can change your settings so that people aren’t allowed to search for you unless they specifically know you. This may be a good idea until your case is over. You may also want to lock certain accounts so that people can’t see them unless you specifically want them to. This will keep unwanted attention away from your social media profiles.

4.    Do not create any Online Dating Profiles during the Divorce Case. There are many ways an online dating profile may be used against you during divorce proceedings, particularly if there are children involved. It’s wise to abstain from online dating while you are going through this process. You should also make sure you aren’t having any flirtatious interactions with anyone in a public form or having inappropriate pictures of you and others posted.

5.    Utilize direct communication tools when possible. It’s always much safer to use phone, e-mail, and direct messages to communicate with friends and family. If you have conversations on your Facebook wall or on Twitter, they are much more out in the open, and your spouse’s legal team may easily gain access to these conversations.

These are just a few tips to follow in regards to your social media when you are going through a divorce. The best thing to do is to just always be cautious about anything you post on the internet. It’s always a good idea to ask yourself, “Would I want the entire world to see this?” before you post anything. Even if you have more secure settings, they may not be as secure as you think they are.

Sara Crawford is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia who often blogs for Hait, Eichelzer & Kuhn, divorce attorneys in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Tax Exemption Negotiations

Often in divorce, both parents want to claim the child(ren) as tax exemptions.

In this negotiation, consider the probable number of years to claim a child.  Children who are full-time students can be claimed for a longer period of time, for example.  Also, if you are alternating years, consider who has the likely advantage of more years to claim—the person claiming even or the person claiming odd years.  And check with your CPA about the expected financial benefit.  Is it as great as you think?

Once you and your spouse reach agreement, be sure your Separation Agreement includes a provision that you will execute all necessary documents.  Currently, I.R.S. Form 8332 must be completed.  Better to agree to complete necessary paperwork now rather than fight over it on April 15th