I am sure that line got your attention! Good! At ATR, we have been advising clients for years that what you communicate can have consequences. To get that point across succinctly, I tell clients not to text, e mail, or post anything they would not be comfortable reading out loud in open court, to a judge. I have heard other attorneys tell their clients that they should be comfortable reading any of their communications to their children. The point is, our private thoughts and opinions can and often do have negative consequences. We all have strong emotions about our personal lives and those we have relationships with and that is natural. A recent Maine Law Court opinion (State v. Heffron) however made it clear that some communication, even a post on your own Facebook page, can be legally interpreted as “contact” and in the context of a Protection From Abuse Order, “contact” can result in arrest, detention, and perhaps conviction.
Social media is as much a part of our everyday lives as our emotions are but mixing the two without being aware of the consequences can literally land you in jail. There are appropriate outlets for the natural, strong emotions that arise out of the relationship dynamics we all face. Now more than ever, people need to think before they “speak” or their freedom may be in jeopardy. Our criminal team can help you navigate the social media landscape after the Heffron decision, and by all means, edit what you post, e mail, or text in the midst of difficult times.
One of the very first concerns parents have when facing a divorce is “When will I see my children?”. This is one of the most frightening aspects of Maine Family Law and especially so for many fathers. There is a long standing “expectation” that children will spend more time with their mother. There actually used to be a legal presumption that children under a certain age would reside primarily with their mother. It was known as the “Tender Years” doctrine and it reflected common thinking at the time. Maine’s newest family laws actually mandate the “equal consideration of parents”. Despite that language being the law, some are still convinced that fathers get pushed aside.
What Maine’s laws say is that contact schedules need to serve the “best interest of the child (ren)” 19-A MRS 1653(3). Maine law has a set framework for the best interest analysis and it contains 19 factors a Judge must consider. In general, Judges do not want to decide your schedule for you. Judges much prefer situations where the parents have decided how best to divide up the time and make sure the children are well cared for. The schedules that work the best are the ones that all of the parties help to create. The schedule is about the children after all, and they did not choose for their parents to get divorced.
A certain level of inconvenience is expected for the parents and all efforts should be made to create a schedule that preserves the importance of all parental relationships. The studies are very clear that outcomes for children are best when both parents remain connected to the children and maintain positive influences. Each family will be different of course, but the key is focusing on positive outcomes rather than trying to win a particular battle within the litigation. Call John Turcotte or Chris Leddy and discuss your case today.
Jerome continues to impress clients with his vast knowledge and expertise in a very nuanced area of the law. Commercial Bed & Breakfast and Inn transactions involve many moving parts. While every deal has individual aspects, there are really two transactions going on, the business and the building.
Attorney Gamache always helps his clients understand all aspects of the sale. James Smith, the new owner of The Inn on Carleton, had this to say, “Being represented by Jerome Gamache of ATR law helped to make the transaction smooth and made me confident that I was well-informed throughout.”
Attorney Jerome Gamache has developed a reputation within the hospitality community. He has helped numerous clients buy and sell Bed and Breakfasts and Inns throughout Maine. If you would like to discuss buying or selling an Inn or B & B, schedule a consultation below.