Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Social Media May Be Evidence Against You in Divorce

posted by Linda Mintle

Up against a tough situation with your divorce or child custody case?

Family law attorney, Christian Badali, a partner at Weber Gallagher says, shut down your social media. It can be used against you.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that increasing numbers of attorneys are relying on social networking evidence in their cases. According to their records, about one in five cases cite Facebook. Social media has been used to determine a person’s state of mind, and show evidence of actions, time and place and communication between people. Take Jack for example. He claimed he couldn’t work due to his disability, but pictures on Facebook proved otherwise.  Sandy posted defamatory comments about her ex and those were used against her in court. Jill posted pictures of herself with her boyfriend, then was found guilty of an affair because of the date of her photos.

If you refuse to stay off  social media, Badali and his partner Andrew Taylor, provide these 8 tips:

  • 1) If you choose to keep your social media pages active, be vigilant in monitoring them. Remove any compromising photos or comments that others post about you or tag you in.
  • 2) Privacy settings.  If you don’t know how to lock them down as tightly as possible, now is the time to learn.
  • 3) Be careful of what is in the “private” portion of your Facebook page, too (messages, etc.).  There are judges who have ordered the parties in a divorce case to exchange usernames and passwords to each other’s social media pages.
  • 4) Change your Facebook password to something your ex would not guess.  It’s possible that a vindictive ex could log into your social media profile, make damaging posts in your name and then use these posts against you in court.  Sound fictitious?  It happens
  • 5) Resist the temptation to vent about your ex on social media.  Whether it’s an intentional slight or not, anything you post on social media can be used against you in a divorce proceeding.  Tread carefully.
  • 6) Stop checking in.  There is nothing more damaging to parents claiming they cannot pay child support as when they “check in” at an expensive restaurant or airport to leave for a vacation.
  • 7) Be especially sensitive to the awkward position your mutual friends are in when a couple is breaking up.  It may sound harsh, but sometimes “unfriending” mutual friends – not just friends of your ex – may be the safest option until the divorce is finalized.
  • 8) Remember the basic rule of all social media.  Before writing a post, making a comment or sharing a photo, think to yourself, “Would I be comfortable if millions of people – not just those in my personal network – saw this?”  When in doubt, don’t post.

Bottom line, think before you post! And remember, when you are defaming your ex, he or she is the parent of your child/children. What kind of an example does that set for your children?

Les Miserable or Django Unchained: More Grace or More Violence?

posted by Linda Mintle

I finally was able to see the movie version of Les Miserable. Stunning performances by the actors, beautiful cinematography and an incredible story of grace and forgiveness. One could not help but be moved by the message—every life is of value and worthy of God’s forgiveness and grace. I was moved to tears.

But the contrast of the movie trailers preceding the film is what struck me.  Every single film had intense violence in the trailers. I felt assaulted. Especially considering the timing. We just witnessed the burial of first graders gunned down by a heartless trigger happy adult, and now we promote movies in which violence still reigns supreme and “entertains” Americans.

I might be alone in this, but I find nothing entertaining about the download of violence that continues to be promulgated by Hollywood. And one of the new movies in the trailers was Django Unchained, an incredibly violent movie with an over the top massacre scene directed by Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino is known for creating violence on the screen. It is his trademark.

Yet, he became incensed by reporters who asked about the connection between movie violence and real violence. He refused to answer a TMZ reporter when the question was posed and became rude. He told the TMZ reporter that he had no obligation to explore the topic of real life violence. He reportedly got hostile with a British interviewer as well.

Hmmm…becoming hostile when asked about violence? In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary violence, is it really a leap to ask about violence on the big screen? Does Hollywood have any culpability in helping curb violence in our culture?

Hollywood. Home of the entitled and privileged, many of whom feel they can do whatever they want with little consequence. And how dare we ask them to explain their actions or thinking on the heels of one of the worst violent crimes in recent years. While violent films may not create a violent killer, the jury is out on the impact they have on all of us. Issues like desensitizing us to violence, creating fear and anxiety in terms of a world view, have been determined to be a result of violent media.

It’s time for media producers to do a little self-examination. We can have all the conversations we want on gun control, safety in schools but don’t tell me that the constant bombardment of violent images, graphic brutality doesn’t play on the minds of the unstable. However, Hollywood continues to award this type of violence and take a hands off approach regarding their own culpability when it comes to our violent culture.

The question to ask is, what good does all this pictorial violence do for average American viewer? Does it help us become better people and treat our brothers and sisters with more care?

For me, we could benefit from a lot more of Les Miserable and a lot less of Django!

Could the Mental Health of Expectant Fathers Impact The Unborn?

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve written several articles on the impact of the mom’s mental health on the development of her unborn baby, but what about the dad? Could the mental health of the father also impact his unborn child? A study published in Pediatrics provides and answer to this question.

A Norway study of 32,000 children found that the psychological distress of  dad during a baby’s pregnancy did indeed impact child development.

Specifically, fathers were given a screening questionnaire regarding their mental health status during their child’s pregnancy. Later, mothers were asked to also fill out questionnaires regarding their child’s development. Controlling for a number of variables, an association was found between the fathers’ mental health and their children’s later developmental problems. Dads who scored high on anxiety and distress when the mom was 17-18 weeks pregnant, had children who were more disruptive and anxious at age three!

Why is this?

One can only speculate–maybe the mental health of the father later impacts his parenting, or maybe his mental health impacts the mother’s mental health, or maybe there is a genetic link..we don’t really know.

But psychologist, James Paulson, associate professor of psychology at Old Dominion University has been studying the mental health of dads and how this may impact child development. He believes the study has an important take away–consider the mental health of the dad, not just the mother. Better depression screening for dads just might make a difference in the development of healthy kids, even before they are born.

 

 

 

Reference: Paternal Mental Health and Socioemotional and Behavioral Development in Their Children, Kvalevaag, et al.

Pediatrics peds.2012-0804

Blow to the Head? What Happens to the Brain?

posted by Linda Mintle

With all the football players leaving the field  for concussions and nasty hits during the playoffs, we need to be thinking about traumatic brain injury (TBI). What really happens when someone suffers a blow either by accident, in a sport or in the military?

Dr. James Kelly, Professor of Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine specializes in all aspects of traumatic brain injury research and clinical care. Watch this 7 minute You Tube to understand more about what happens when you hit your head or get hit on the head.

Dr. Kelly is easy to understand. This may impact your decision to play contact sports, help a returning family member who has suffered TBI through war experience, or know what happens when an elderly person falls and hits her head.

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

 

For more on the impact of blows to the head, read my blog, Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be-football or hockey players, boxers…

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