It is amazing how social media has changed the way people communicate and share information about themselves. Five years ago, only college students and teenagers had a Facebook page. Now, Fortune 500 corporations, start-up companies and octogenarians have Facebook pages. While social media makes for interesting interactions, it could also lead to serious problems for people going through contested child custody matters.
Why is this? It appears that people are more likely to express things on the Internet (that can be seen by the masses) that they wouldn’t necessarily say in person. It is not uncommon to find disparaging comments about a parent through Facebook. Also, some may have pictures of themselves partying and out of control while claiming to be responsible parents.
The common denominator in each of these situations is that they cannot be taken back. More importantly, they are discoverable pieces of information that can be used in future custody proceedings. Given how vindictive motivated parents can be, it is amazing how statements and pictures can be taken out of context.
With that said, parents should follow a few basic rules about Internet etiquette. First, if you don’t want something read or seen by a family court judge, think twice about posting it on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media venue. Second, if you are feeling like a public rant about the other parent will take a load off your mind, try putting it in a journal or letter that does not go online.
If you have additional questions about social media do’s and don’ts during divorce, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.