Social media can make or break a child custody battle. That’s not hyperbole – it’s a fact. The things you say and post on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks can make you look like a shining example of what a parent should be, or they can make a judge question your competence as a parent. On the other hand, social media can help prove your claim that your ex is an unfit parent.
How Social Media Can Negatively Affect Your Custody Battle
When it comes to child custody disputes, there are two things that courts focus on: the child’s safety, and how the parent’s lifestyle affects the child. The way you conduct yourself on social media websites can provide the court with an indication of your lifestyle choices, and whether those choices are having a negative impact on your child’s well-being.
Bashing your ex on Facebook won’t win you any brownie points with the judge. Posting photos of you behaving inappropriately or engaging in inappropriate activities can also cause a judge to question your competence as a parent.
Other potentially damaging posts can include:
- Photos of your new car, boat or luxury items if you just filed a motion to reduce your child support payments.
- Details of your “crazy” weekend when you were supposed to be taking care of your children.
- Details of your date night with your girlfriend/boyfriend before the divorce is final.
It’s important to remember that your ex’s lawyer will find your social media profiles, and will be paying close attention to what you post. Your postings can and will be used against you if it supports your ex’s case.
How Social Media Can Have a Positive Effect on Your Case
While social media can have a negative impact on your child custody case, it can also work in your favor.
If your ex is attempting to get custody of the children but is behaving inappropriately on social media websites, these postings can serve as proof of his or her incompetence. Take screenshots of inappropriate posts (like those listed above) to prove your case.
Social media can also be used to highlight your good parenting skills. Posting photos of you spending time with your children and never speaking ill of your ex on social media can go a long way in supporting your custody claim.
The bottom line: social media can be used as a tool or a weapon in child custody battles. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. And think twice about everything you share, as your ex’s lawyer is sure to find it and use it against you.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.