Category Archives: General Legal

Tip of the Day: Don’t Read Tone into Text Messages

“Can you believe that he texted me this?!?” images

What did he text?

“When can I see the kids?”

So?

“He’s DEMANDING TO TAKE THE CHILDREN!”

Sometimes a text is just a text. The tip of the day is to not read tone into to text messages. On numerous occasions I have had clients read exchanges between themselves and their ex. They read their own words in an angelic voice, but their ex’s in a tone that is a maniacal monster. They literally change their tone of voice when reading the ex’s messages. It’s fascinating to watch. However, it can be counter productive.

Text messages are not proper English.  Words are abbreviated. Punctuation is often non-existent. This blog struggles with correct grammar. Text messages don’t even try to be grammatically correct.

Applying tone allows for the potential of miscommunication, may result in an unreasonable response and can get you all riled up unnecessarily. Even if there is tone what difference does it make? Respond thinking that a judge may see this one day.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Divorce Attorney and tries daily to not read tone into text messages.

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Prison for NOT Paying Child Support? YES

You have seen the recent news about a local man being arrested and jailed for his refusal to pay Court Ordered Child Support. Now, this is only done after one is initially ordered to pay, doesn’t pay, then is formally requested to pay, given notice, given an opportunity to pay or prove their inability to pay with specificity, and then and only then, jailed as a last resort. In these circumstances, knowing the layers of review, the opportunities afforded by the Court and the fact that everyone had a lawyer (actually multiple lawyers), my sympathy is nil. This is Contempt of Court and ultimately the wrong-doer has the keys to the jail.  All you have to do is pay what you owe and you are free to go.

However, if you still don’t pay, your troubles can multiply.

TITLE 97.  CRIMES  
CHAPTER 5.  OFFENSES AFFECTING CHILDREN
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-3  (2016)
§ 97-5-3. Desertion or nonsupport of child under age eighteen
Any parent who shall desert or wilfully neglect or refuse to provide for the support and maintenance of his or her…children…while said…children are under the age of eighteen (18) years shall be guilty of a felony and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not more than five (5) years, or both; and for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not less than two (2) years nor more than five (5) years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Prison for not paying child support? Yes. It’s the law.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody and Child Support Attorney in Mississippi.
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Tip of the Day: Have an Emergency Fund

We know the sound advice that financial gurus recommend a 6-month savings of living expenses. We also know how difficult it is to do that.

But, today’s advice is about a different type of emergency fund. I suggest you have a cash emergency fund.  Have enough money that you can get the help you need in the event of a family law emergency.

It is not uncommon for potential clients to have no readily accessible monies or extremely limited access to any monies. This makes it very difficult to navigate in the world that we live in. Also, when monies are in a joint account the joint owner may take any or all of those monies at any time and may also see if you did the same.

Have an emergency fund of several thousand dollars handy. Keep it somewhere safe and even if you never need it, you may have a family member or friend that will.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and wishes you a Happy Groundhog Day!

(601) 850-8000       Matthew@BowTieLawyer.ms       Thompson Law Firm, pllc

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