Social media matters to custody and parental rights

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

You’ve probably heard news stories about people whose personal social media activity has negatively affected their public and professional lives. Probably, you seen them through your own social media accounts. But what you post, tweet, like and text can also be admissible as evidence during custody and parental rights hearings.

In family law court, the judge considers what’s best for the child. The judge looks at information that can help the court decide if one or the other member of the couple, as custodial parent, could provide a stable home life and if the parent has the financial means and emotional maturity to provide a supportive and caring environment.

Keep it to yourself

Almost all social media posts may be used in family court, and lawyers are adept at finding online material that can help their client’s case. Social media activity that may be used in determining custody and/or parenting time rights includes things like posts that show a parent deliberately trying to alienate a child from the other parent, as well as posts that shed light on potentially damaging attitudes, lifestyle choices, or even mental health concerns like anger management issues.

Count to ten

Don’t respond to posts from your ex that upset you. Talk to a family member, friend or therapist to work through feelings, because now is not the time to create a digital record of what you’re going through. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re involved in an active custody case, don’t complain about any aspect of the case on social media. It’s hard to check your emotions when the stakes involve your future as a parent but thinking before you post can be critical to achieving a positive outcome for your case.

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