We have all heard the story of the evil step-mother, and when it comes to custody cases in Pennsylvania, often times one parent's new "paramour" causes tension and leads to litigation. Sometimes, as a result of hurt feelings, lingering resentment or lack of closure, one parent will use the other parent's new relationship as a scape-goat for the problems with custody and co-parenting. However, with the holiday season kicking into high gear, it is almost inevitable that people who have begun new relationships will want to introduce their new significant others to their families. This includes their children.
"Try not to be that high up to be friends, I want everything to be low, OK? Just try your best...I want you and my dad to be in a place that's settled and be friends." This very mature sounding quotes comes from the mouth of a young six-year old girl wearing a pink fuzzy bunny t-shirt in a recent viral video. This video was captured by Tiana's mother, who is currently engaged in a tumultuous family law proceeding with the child's Father. Cherish Sherry, Tiana's mother, said that this speech from her daughter brought her to tears and reminded her what was most important in all of this, her daughter. Though this video has now gotten tens of thousands of views on Youtube and other websites across the internet, for the family law practitioners amount us, it reminds us that despite how volatile divorce and custody cases can be, the kids are the most important part, and Pennsylvania law backs this up.
Recent psychotherapist, Dr. Ian Kerner, an expert couples counselor caused a stir by suggesting that couples "unfriend" each other on social media sites including Facebook in order to encourage face-to-face communication and maintain a sense of "mystery" in the relationship. This suggestion is contrasted with the therapists who argue that not only should couples be "friends" and follow each other on social media, but that they should go as far as to share a social media account. The argument here is that if she shares an Instagram account with me, she couldn't possibly be private messaging someone else, keeping secrets or engaging in an illicit affair via Twitter direct messaging (because that's what Ashley Madison is for). Regardless of the arguments on both sides, at the end of the day, despite their best efforts, couples do split up, and with custody, divorce, support, and property division cases pending, often family law litigants are left to wonder what to do with their social media now that their relationship has ended.
By: Lisa Marie Vari
Communication between co-parents can often be difficult and stressful. Depending on email and text message for communication can be especially complicated due to message failures, lost messages, and misreading. When sharing custody of your children, there are tools that alleviate and simplify scheduling and communicating with the other co-parent. Courts in Allegheny County often order or recommend the use of The Our Family Wizard.
By: Lisa Vari on G+
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