5 More Family Law FaceBook Don’ts

I previously blogged on 5 Family Law FaceBook Don’ts.  This was a very popular blog topic and continues to generate a lot of traffic. This post lists 5 more things you should not be doing on FaceBook with regards to your family law case.

Posting inappropriate stuff on FB is not just an American thing. 1/5 of Australian divorces use FB postings to discredit some testimony that was offered by one party and FB activities are showing up in about 1/3 of United Kingdom divorce cases. Familyandthelaw.com.au 

5 More Things not to Put on FaceBook:

  • Don’t post Pictures of the other party, whether they be flattering or not. 
  • Don’t post Pictures of the children doing activities with captions that note the other parent’s absence.
  • Don’t post Pictures of your new squeeze in a “Parenting Role” that is intended to inflame the other side.
  • Don’t comment on your friend’s drama and “one-up” them with your own.
  • Don’t allow your FB friends to bash your Ex. 

Stay tuned for more FaceBook don’ts, as I have enough material to make this one a series and unfortunately am learning of new things not to do on an almost daily basis.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi that strives to not put inappropriate things on FB and thinks you should too!  #Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer


Behind the Scenes: A Legal Calling (LawCall, TV, Radio & Speaking)

Recently I was invited to be on the TV show LawCall.  I decided to write about that experience; the good, the challenges, and the behind the scenes “secrets.”

LawCall is a live, weekly, thirty-minute call-in show hosted by local personal injury attorneys Rocky Wilkins and Tim Porter of the law firms, Rocky Wilkins Law Firm and Porter Malouf, respectively.   The show features guests attorneys from across the state of Mississippi.  Every show highlights one legal area.  The attorneys take live phone calls from viewers pertaining to that topic. My appearance was the Valentine’s edition; Love & the Law – Family Law in Mississippi.

This was not my first time on television discussing legal themes. I was previously a guest on the Local 98 TV Show The Reel Deal with Cole Berry discussing legal movies.  I have also been on the radio discussing Father’s Rights on WLEZ, in preparation for the then upcoming Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project’s free family law seminar.  I also routinely speak at CLEs (continuing legal education seminars) on Family Law.  I really enjoy these opportunities to talk about what I do.

On LawCall the usual hosts were out-of-town so Ben Wilson, an attorney with Rocky Wilkins Firm, filled in for Rocky.  Ben and I discussed general family law topics prior to the show.  I also met and spoke with the moderator/ TV facilitator Tamica Smith.  Tamica is a pro.  She has been on the news and TV for over 15 years in various markets and was as cool as a cucumber.

When I arrived, I received my instructions from Charley Jones and his wife Angela.  They produce LawCall.  I received an ear piece where I could hear the control room and the callers.  We did a run down, which is just a practice run of the show.  I was told where I would be sitting, how the show would open, when to expect commercial breaks and generally where to look.  This was the toughest part for me.  There were 3 cameras.  The one to my right I was never to look at.  When the shot showed the whole panel I was to look into the middle camera and when I was speaking directly to the caller I was to look to the left camera.  It took some practice and just as I was getting the hang of it the show was over!

There were 4-5 callers with some really good questions.  There was a question about whether a new spouse would be responsible for the husband’s support obligation from a prior relationship. She would not be.  There was a question about Grandparent’s rights.  Grandparents have rights guaranteed by law in Mississippi.  A caller asked about whether his alimony obligations could be changed.  Based on what he described he could seek to modify his obligations.

Behind the scenes.  One of the newscasters had on jeans.  You only saw him from the waist up on TV so it did not matter, but it surprised me.  It made me think of the old joke showing all the newscasters in their “heart boxers” and suits up top.  It was only water in the coffee mugs.  I got to keep the mug.  Also, I had one call to my office within one minute of the show ending and had another call at 9:05 a.m. Monday morning.  How is that for marketing results!

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that has appeared on Local 98 TV, WLBT’s Law Call, WLEZ on the radio and at numerous speaking engagements.  If you need a speaker or TV personality at your next Family Law Seminar/Banquet please contact Matthew about his low, low “Celebrity Appearance Fee!”

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.

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Guardian Ad Litems – Representing Children in Court

The Judge’s job in a custody/divorce case is  to determine the best interests of the children when mom and dad are fighting. The Judge considers mom’s testimony and evidence as well as dad’s and even the children’s testimony (clickable).  But there is also another implement in the tool box of information available to the Court, the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL).


A GAL is a person, usually a lawyer, appointed by the Court to take on one of two roles.

1) The first of these is to be an Attorney for the Children.  To represent the child in the same capacity any attorney would represent a client, with the same duties, obligations and confidences that every attorney owes to each client.  This role is fairly uncommon in custody/divorce actions.

2) The much more common role is that of Investigator for the Court.  Judge’s routinely appoint an attorney to serve as the Court’s eyes and ears on the ground.  Judge’s are limited to what they can hear.

They are limited by time constraints, objections, admissibility issues, and lawyer’s abilities.  A GAL appointed by the Court as an Investigator has much more readily available access to information.  

  • GALs interview mom, dad and the children.
  • They can interview teachers, doctors, counselors, friends, and coaches.  
  • They can practically speak to anyone they think they need to.  
  • A GAL can inspect the home where the children stay and can do so unannounced.  
  • GALs can pay surprise visits.  
  • GALs can access school records, medical records, counseling records.  
  • GALs can request medical evaluations and even psychological evaluations.  
  • GALs, by and large, can do what is necessary to get to the bottom of the issues in a case.

So why does every case NOT have a GAL? 

1) They are only required in abuse/neglect cases, otherwise it is discretionary. The Court may not allow for a GAL.

2) It adds another layer of expense, another attorney to pay.  The Court usually makes both parties pay.

3) It can create delay.  The GAL may ask for more time to conduct the investigation and scheduling trial depends on another lawyer’s calendar.

4) The GAL may not believe you.  They are human and may believe the other parent over you, plus you may be lying to them.  It adds risk.

5) They may not do a good job.

GALs typically prepare a report that is provided to the Court and both lawyers. It recounts their efforts, interviews, documents reviewed and conclusions drawn.  The GAL report also includes recommendations, usually.  The Court is not required to follow the GAL recommendation.

Guardian Ad Litems can be a critically important tool available to the Court or parties in a contested custody battle, but the involvement of a GAL also has risks and expenses associated too.  Talk to your lawyer if you have concerns about abuse/neglect and whether a GAL may help in your case.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that has served as a GAL and has handled numerous cases involving GALs.  He has seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  He also conducts GAL training sessions at Continuing Legal Education Seminars for  lawyers that want o become certified GALs;  topics include conducting GAL Custody Evaluations, GAL Investigations, GAL Reports and Testifying.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.


Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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