Archive for May, 2014

The Role of Private Investigators in Mississippi Divorce Cases

Friday, May 30th, 2014

When you file for a Mississippi divorce based upon fault grounds, you will have to show the court that what you state as the reason why you should be granted a divorce has actually happened. In order to do that, you must provide the court with evidence which tends to prove the elements of the particular grounds that you have stated. While family and friends can offer testimony about what they may have seen or hear if it is relevant to one of the elements of the grounds for divorce, you may also need other forms of evidence to support your claim.

Attorneys can be effective at securing some types of evidence, such as leases, utility bills, and other paperwork which would show the court that your spouse is residing somewhere besides the marital home. Unfortunately, attorneys do not have the time or the expertise to procure all of the types of evidence that you need to present in your divorce case. Fortunately, there are professionals who can assist you and your attorney by obtaining the evidence that you need.

When you think about private investigators in a divorce scenario, your mind may conjure up images of a person hiding in the bushes with a camera, waiting to catch a cheating spouse in the act. While private investigators can be very good at procuring evidence to support allegations of adultery, they can be very useful in helping divorce clients obtain many different types of evidence. For example, they have the time, the skills, and the connections to track down witnesses which you may be having trouble locating on your own.

Modern-day private investigators are also often adept at using technology to discover information about people, such as their whereabouts and their online activities, including whether your spouse has been deliberately trying to cover his or her tracks by deleting information from computers, cell phones, or other devices. Private investigators can also sift through financial documents and other records to find out whether your spouse has been hiding money or property, and whether they have provided truthful information on the paperwork that they have filled out for the court regarding their income, assets, employment, and other things.

In cases where there are children involved, a private investigator can also help you by obtaining information about your soon to be former spouse’s residence, living conditions, drug or alcohol use, and other factors which may be important for the court to know in deciding custody. This information would be difficult for you to get on your own, and when an investigator presents it to the court, it would not carry the same bias as if you presented it on your own.

A private investigator can help you to obtain valuable evidence for your divorce, and can work with your Mississippi Divorce Attorney to build a strong case in your favor. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to know what information your private investigator should look for, and how it will help you to prove the elements of the grounds for divorce that you have chosen. To learn more about how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, please call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Warning Signs to Consider If Your Spouse is Having an Affair

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

If you have ever wondered whether you would know if your spouse was cheating on you, you may have come to one of two conclusions. You may think that you would certainly know, because you would notice that something was amiss and investigate it further until you discovered the truth. Alternatively, you may think that you would have no idea about it, because you would not know what to look for that would suggest that things are not as they should be.

Whether your spouse is a man or a woman, the following clues may suggest that they are having an affair. Many of these clues come from changes in their appearance, as they are likely to have a renewed interest in looking good for their new romantic interest. Some people change the style of the clothes that they wear frequently, but others do not. If your spouse suddenly has an interest in fashion, or his or her style changes drastically, they may be changing up more than just their wardrobe. If your spouse has never been interested in things like tanning, cosmetic surgery, tooth whitening treatments, waxing, or laser hair removal, a sudden interest in them may indicate a desire to look good for someone else. Likewise, changes in diet and exercise routines without a prior interest in those things or a suggestion from the doctor could mean that they are trying to impress someone.

If your spouse’s work schedule suddenly changes, and they begin spending longer hours away from home when their work had not previously required it, they may be engaging in other activities before or after work. Likewise, if their work did not previously require out of town travel or spur of the moment trips to the office on their days off, their workplace may have nothing to do with their increased absence.

Since time spent with a paramour probably occurs outside of working hours, it cuts into the time that your spouse would normally spend time with you. If you have noticed that your spouse is always saying that they have errands to run, or they make excuses as to why they cannot attend family events or spend time with the rest of the family, they may be spending that time with someone else.

Technology habits can also tip you off to potential infidelity. If your spouse has two cell phones, and one of them is not a work-issued phone, there may be something going on. Likewise, if their phone is never off of their person or the screen is always locked, they may be hiding something. Also, an increased need for privacy when they are on the phone may indicate that they do not want you to know who they are talking to. A sudden change in internet use may also cause you to wonder what they are doing online for all of those hours, especially if they delete the browsing history.

Unfortunately, cheating spouses also distance themselves from their spouses as they focus their attention on the person with whom they are having an affair. If your spouse has started picking fights, or you have noticed a change in their demeanor towards you, that may be a sign of trouble. Likewise, if they seem emotionally distant, they may be trying to push you away as they pull someone else closer.

The sinking feeling that comes along with beginning to suspect that your spouse is having an affair is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the range of emotions that you are likely to experience as you go through the process of uncovering the affair and filing for divorce. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Family Law Attorney Offers Tips for Productive Co-Parenting

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

If you are a divorcing parent, you may wonder how you will be able to keep your relationship with your soon-to-be former spouse civil enough to engage in co-parenting. The good news is that there are things that you can do to increase the chance that your adventures in co-parenting will have the desired effect of helping your children thrive both during and after your divorce.

The term co-parenting may seem like it implies very close involvement with your children’s other parent. While this is true, and while co-parenting does involve a great deal of interaction and communication, there is also a place in the co-parenting relationship where a little distance can be a very good thing. More specifically, the less concerned you make yourself with what goes on at the other parent’s home, the better off you will be. Unless there is a major health or safety concern, it is best to let go of any need that you have to know everything that goes on, or to try to influence it.

Did you know that you are a model? Your divorce has made you and your children’s other parent into models of how family relationships work during a divorce. If you keep this thought in mind, you may find that you treat your children’s other parent with care and respect, even when you disagree with them. When children see this, they learn how to maintain civil relationships in tough times. This is a valuable lesson that will serve them later on in life in any type of adversarial situation that they may encounter.

Acknowledging your feelings is important, and separating your actions from your feelings is even more so. You have every right to feel frustrated, angry, or whatever else you are feeling towards your children’s other parent right now. However, the way that you choose to express those feelings can have a big impact on your kids. If you choose to remain calm and avoid badmouthing, manipulating, or other negative behaviors, your children will learn from your example. It is essential that you deal with those feelings, too, instead of bottling them up inside. Building a support network of people whom you can vent to or talk with is very helpful in this regard.

Keeping rules and routines perfectly consistent between households is not always possible, but if you and your soon to be former spouse can agree on some guiding principles which you feel are important for raising children and create rules based upon those principles, you may be able to come up with some basic rules that the two of you can apply in each of your homes. Children thrive in environments where rules and routines are consistent, so it is worth investing some time talking to your soon to be former spouse about how you will proceed.

Divorce is not easy. Divorce with kids is even harder, because you have their needs and feelings to account for at every step of the way. Matthew S. Poole is an experienced Mississippi Family Law Attorney who is known for providing caring and compassionate legal counsel. To find out how Matthew can help you, please call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Family Law Attorney Advises: Divorce is Not a Do-it-Yourself Project

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

There are many things that a person can learn to do themselves, which often lead to a sense of pride and accomplishment. Learning to make your own clothes, remodel a bathroom, and countless other things offer people the opportunity to build new skills and have something tangible to show for it. Thanks to the internet, it is easy to learn how to do many things yourself. However, there are some things, like surgery and divorce, which are best accomplished with the aid of a skilled professional.

Finances are often tight on both sides of a divorce, and some people think that representing themselves in their divorce case is a good way to save money. While that may appear to be the case on the surface, in the end, you get what you pay for. When you accept a property settlement in a divorce, or when one is issued to you by the court, it is final. It can be difficult to know whether you should accept a settlement offer which is presented to you. Fortunately, Mississippi Family Law Attorneys can help you to assess the value of the proposed settlement as it pertains to your life, so that you can decide whether it will give you what you were hoping to get out of the divorce.

When parties represent themselves in divorce cases, they often find that they are unable to reach agreement on issues like property distribution and child custody because they have trouble communicating with each other. This is another reason why do-it-yourself divorces are not a good idea. When you and your soon to be former spouse retain attorneys, your attorneys take over the task of communicating, and they share information with you as it comes to them. When your attorney has information to share with you, like a settlement offer, they can help you to determine whether it is something that you wish to accept, or if you have an idea for a counter-proposal that your attorney can discuss with your soon to be former spouse’s attorney. When attorneys do the communicating, there is a greater chance that the parties will reach an agreement about how to settle the issues in their divorce instead of having a trial, where the court would decide the issues for them. Parties are generally much happier with settlements that they design on their own than they are with orders that are created by the court, so retaining an attorney increases your chances of being satisfied with the outcome of your Mississippi divorce.

The legal system operates within a set of rules and procedures. There are forms to be filed out, instructions and rules to follow, and deadlines to meet. It is easy to make a mistake and miss a deadline or fail to file a form, and it could result in an unfavorable outcome. Mississippi Divorce Attorneys know the divorce process inside and out. They can make sure that the proper steps are taken at the appropriate times, so that your case proceeds smoothly through the various stages before it becomes final.

A Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to understand your options under the Mississippi divorce laws. Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole has a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area of Mississippi divorce law, and his skills have helped him to achieve favorable results for his clients. To find out how Matthew can help you, please call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Answers: What is Desertion?

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Mississippi courts require couples to provide them with a good reason why they should be granted a divorce. There are twelve of these reasons, which are referred to as the grounds for divorce. Some of the possible grounds for divorce are cited more commonly than others by couples who wish to call it quits. One of the most common grounds for divorce in Mississippi is desertion.

Desertion may seem like a simple matter. If your spouse leaves you without your permission, then you may think that you have been deserted. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. In order to prove desertion, you must provide the court with evidence that your spouse’s absence was willful, continuous, and obstinate.

A willful desertion implies that the spouse who left intended not only to leave the home, but also to leave the marriage. While it is fairly easy to prove that your spouse has left, by providing information like a lease for his new residence, or bills from the utility services that he has set up for his new residence, proving intent to leave the marriage may be a bit trickier. That information will likely have to come from your spouse themselves, through interrogatories, depositions, and testimony.

Your feelings regarding the marriage are also important in building a case for a divorce based upon desertion. In order for desertion to occur, your spouse must be absent without your consent. You can show the court that you remained willing to reconcile with your spouse throughout the course of his or her absence through your own testimony, as well as the testimony of people that you know who may have had conversations with you about that topic.

For a desertion to be continuous, it must last for a year or longer. Perhaps even more importantly, the one-year “clock” gets reset if your spouse returns to you and you welcome them back into your home. In some cases, the court may be willing to leave the “clock” running through a brief return to intimacy if you can provide evidence that your spouse, in engaging in intimate relations with you, did not intend to fully recommit himself or herself to the marital relationship. A spouse’s departure which began as an absence for a legitimate reason, such as a business trip, can turn into a desertion scenario if the spouse, while absent, decides not to return. If this is the case with your situation, you will have to be able to provide information about how your spouse’s plans changed over time, and when you believe that the one-year desertion “clock” started ticking.

There are a few ways in which a spouse can be shown to be obstinate, for the purposes of supporting a conclusion that desertion has occurred. For example, refusal to provide the left behind spouse with any financial support is one way to show that the spouse who left is behaving in an obstinate manner. Also, a refusal to talk about reconciling, or to attempt reconciliation may also help to show that your spouse was obstinate in remaining away from you.

In some cases, an abused spouse must flee from his or her home in order to avoid further harm. The law protects these spouses from claims of desertion being asserted against them by enabling them to file for divorce based upon the grounds of constructive desertion. Constructive desertion may also be asserted in some cases where one spouse refuses to engage in sexual intimacy with the other for an extended period of time.

If your spouse has deserted you, you may be interested in divorcing them. In a matter as important as a divorce, it is essential that you retain an experienced Mississippi Divorce Attorney who understands the divorce process. To learn more about how Jackson area divorce attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Common Divorce Blunders to Avoid

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Whether it is related to a divorce in progress or not, sometimes people make mistakes without even realizing that they are doing something they probably shouldn’t. Trying to walk a path which won’t make life any more difficult than it already is may be one of your aspirations as you go through your divorce. If it is, you may want to learn about some of the things that many divorcing people do which may have consequences that they are unaware of when they do them. Knowledge is power, and simply being aware of the potential consequences of these common divorce blunders could help you to avoid committing them yourself.

Believe it or not, your financial behavior can become a big deal during your divorce process. If you fail to disclose income and assets on the forms that you fill out for the court and your spouse produces evidence that you have assets or income that you did not disclose, there will be trouble. Any transaction that you make could be discovered, whether it is on a credit card, bank statement, or something else entirely. Technology makes tracking the flow of funds fairly simple, and any attempts to conceal information of a financial nature are likely to backfire and get you in trouble. Keeping your financial dealings squeaky clean and disclosing everything is the best way to ensure that you will not create any unintended and undesirable consequences.

Social media is a big part of many people’s lives. At its best, it can help you stay connected with friends and family, both near and far. At its worst, it can pour fuel on fires which are already burning, turning them into blazing infernos of drama. With this in mind, think carefully before you post that Facebook status or tweet that thought. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, even if you delete it. Electronic evidence is used in many types of court cases, including divorces. Your spouse may leave no stone unturned as they parade your Instagram pictures, tweets, and Facebook statuses before the court to portray you in a very unfavorable way. In case you think that that would never happen because you blocked your ex and all of their friends, know that they could be lurking under a fake screen name, or people who you thought were your friends may turn on you and alert them to what you have posted via screenshots and the like. It is important that you address your feelings about your divorce, but calling or meeting up with a trusted friend, a family member, or even your therapist is a healthy and much less potentially damaging way to meet your need for connection and communication about your divorce experience.

While it is your job to avoid doing things which could potentially harm your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your divorce, a Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to understand the divorce process and pursue the results that you desire. Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is an experienced Mississippi divorce attorney who is known for achieving favorable results for his clients. To find out how Matthew can help you, call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.