Digital Legacy Planning

Social networks are still a relatively new aspect of technology, with many people taking advantage of digital connection. The beauty of social networking is the interconnectivity of various people all across the world. People who take advantage of social networks find they serve as a useful tool for keeping up with friends and family, and making new work and life connections. But what happens to a person’s social media accounts, when that person is no longer here to run them?

The Grey Area

While a person is alive and well, having a social network profile can be great fun. It builds community and platform for his or her career and leaves an online footprint. When someone passes away, however, these accounts fall into a grey area where loved ones must handle the responsibility of notifying and making decisions about all existing social media.

According to many social network contracts, after a person passes on, the network inherits all of their media on that particular website. It is important to note that people can be appointed by the deceased to handle certain accounts.

What is a Digital Legacy?

There is no concrete way for social media networks to know if a person has passed on or not, except perhaps if they have not logged into their account in a very long time. This means that before a person passes on, they have the ability to leave behind information vital to their wishes concerning their social media accounts, known as a digital legacy.

When a person passes on and there is no one to take over the social media profiles that are left, the page or pages often simply remain on the host server forever. Many people have different views on this. Some like to use it as a digital tombstone, a way to remember the passed, while others wish to have the profile deleted.

Notification of Preference

The best way for someone to make his or her wishes known concerning the use of social network profiles is to leave a notification in his or her will. This way, after a person has passed on, loved ones only need to verify that person’s desire and reach out to administrators of the various online platforms.

Social network profiles can serve as important as communication in the real world. Digital legacy, while a new concept, is crucial to those you leave behind, as it can make the process of closing out accounts or management of accounts easier for everyone involved.

Avoiding The Guilt Traps Of Divorced Parents

Divorce is a difficult and trying life event, which can have a negative emotional impact on the couple splitting, as well as and, most importantly, their children. Although there may be no specific set of guidelines for divorced parents to follow, they can avoid a number of pitfalls that could make an already tough situation worse.

Avoid Being Unaccommodating

This is particularly true in the case of the parent who is moving out of the family house. An important part of helping your children through the divorce process is providing them with as comfortable and as stable of a living environment as possible.

If it is you who is moving into a new residence, it is critical to choose a place where your children will feel “at home.” Make sure they will have a room to sleep in. In addition, do not turn the place into a bachelor/bachelorette pad. Decorate the new place with items from the old house and be sure to hang pictures of your children on the walls or place on desks. If you are remaining in the family home, do not rush to pack away anything your ex might have left behind and avoid rearranging furniture or doing any major redecorating for a while.

Do Not Speak Ill Of Your Former Spouse

When you speak badly about your ex, past hurt is rehashed, which places your children in the middle of a delicate situation. The split has been hard enough on them as it is. It is unfair to place yet another emotional burden on their shoulders. It is more advisable to hold your ex in the highest light possible. Highlight his or her personal and professional accomplishments and always insist your children show him or her the same level of respect you would want them to display to you.

Do Not Date Until The Divorce Is Official

Wait until one facet of your life is complete before delving into another one. Dating prematurely can confuse your children and give them more emotional burdens than they are yet prepared to handle. It is recommended you use the time until the divorce is finalized as an opportunity to let your children adjust to what will be a new life and circumstances.

Do Not Forget About Your Kids

Include your children in your new life. Invite them to your new place, call them frequently and attend their athletic and scholastic events.

Do Not Spoil Your Children

There is no shame in providing your kids what they need and purchasing gifts when and where appropriate, but it can be deleterious to spoil them. Children are smart and can see through this tactic; drawing the conclusion you are trying to “buy them off” to assuage your guilt over what happened.

When in doubt, consult with a professional divorce attorney who can assist you in avoiding the typical pitfalls of divorce – and help you make a smooth transition into your new lifestyle.

Understanding the Basics: Divorce vs. Separation

There is a great deal of murkiness surrounding the legal implications and general understanding of what it means to be divorced versus what it means to be separated. When you couple difficult definitions with confusing legal terms, the whole situation can fast become overwhelming. Here are some definitions and basic explanations to better understand divorce vs. separation:

Divorce

Divorce is when two spouses legally are no longer married. In the eyes of the state, the marriage has ended. This differs from what is called a legal separation, where, in the eyes of the state, the two spouses are still legally married.

Separation

A legal separation may be a good idea if couples find themselves trying to work through a personal or financial issue that is impacting the marriage.

Different Styles of Separation

  • Trial Separation: This is for couples that want to test out living separately without legal implications. This is still viewed as a period of time within the marriage, and any property or debt is shared — including any newly acquired property or debt. It is not until the couple decides to legally end the marriage that this will change. Even if the marriage ultimately ends in divorce, until that time, property is viewed as shared.
  • Living Separately: Depending on what state the couple lives in, living separately can have different legal implications. For some states, living separately does not have any consequence on property division until one of the spouses gains the intent to end the marriage. All property and debt acquired from that point on is considered separate. Some states consider property and debt separate if the couple is living apart, no matter what the intent is of the couple, while other states consider property shared until a divorce complaint is officially filed with the state. If a couple is considering living in separate residences, it is a good idea to check with the state to see which ruling on the division of property is applicable.
  • Permanent Separation: A permanent separation is exactly what it sounds like; a separation for good. Most states view all property and debt acquired while permanently separated as separate property. If property is acquired while separated that is necessary for the family, then it is shared. Property and debt of this nature may include house payments, maintenance of the home, or childcare related expenses.

There are many nuances to understanding the complexities of choosing separation vs. divorce. When considering which path is best for you, it is important to contact a family law attorney and review your options.

How To Prepare For Meeting With A Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a complicated process. There are many ways in which you can miss out on advantages you deserve. There are also many ways that you can be taken advantage of by not knowing your rights.

It is important to hire legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. If you are preparing for your first meeting with your divorce attorney, it is equally important you follow a few crucial tips to ensure you will be forming a business relationship with someone on the same page as you.

Questions Both Ways

You should enter your first meeting with mindful questions prepared. This will give you a good idea of the level of quality your potential lawyer will bring to the table. Among questions to consider posing to your divorce attorney, consider:

  • Do you specialize in divorces?
  • How long will it take to come to a resolution?
  • How can I reach you in the event of an emergency?
  • Will there be anyone else working on my case? If so, can I meet them?
  • What are your hourly rates, and how will I be billed for services rendered?
  • Do you allow for me to negotiate with my spouse directly, if desired?

It is also important to make sure you are not the only one asking questions. A good way to judge whether a potential attorney is listening is if they ask questions to better understand how they can best handle your case.

Reviewing Common Issues

During the first meeting, it is typical to discuss the most common issues that arise during the divorce process. From custody arrangements and child support to division of property, alimony and more, you should leave the meeting with a better understanding of the possibilities of where you will stand once the divorce is complete. The attorney may give you a to-do list after the meeting to get you working on the things that must be done to move forward with the process.

A Trusted Ally

Your attorney should prove to be a trusted ally during this transitional time in your life. Change is scary, and he or she should be available to address your concerns as well as bring a level of competence to the table you can count on. Therefore, it is essential that you identify whether your attorney understands your needs. This understanding will help ensure they will offer you the quality representation you need during this trying time in your life.