Social media is a big part of life in today’s society. From significant events and celebrations to what you ate for dinner or that cute little face your little one just made, we share a considerable amount of information online. And while sharing online has become the norm, it’s essential to be mindful of your online activity during your child custody proceedings.
If your online presence is questionable, it can impact a judge’s ruling in your case. Using extreme discretion on what you post on social media is an excellent legal strategy. If you’re currently involved in a child custody case or you’re about to be, this article will review ten helpful tips on using social media during your child custody case.
#1. Stop Using Social Media
Yes, we said it, stop using social media. It’s the safest way to avoid potential problems and repercussions that a bad post can cause. It will also prevent your children from seeing any negative posts you are posting that could affect their relationship with you or their other parent.
#2. Deleting Posts
Taking a break from social media doesn’t mean you should delete what’s already posted. Your attorney may want you to keep your history to use in the divorce or child custody case. And actually, you may be violating local court rules or discovery requests by deleting your posts. Before deleting anything, contact your attorney.
#3. Reduce Your Online Presence
If you don’t want to or can’t quit social media, you should strongly consider limiting your social media use. Your child’s other parent, their attorney, friends, or family could be following your social media accounts.
If possible, you should change your privacy settings to make your social media accounts private to prevent something you post from becoming part of your child custody case. While posts and videos may be funny to you, you never know if someone will take the posts out of context or how the judge will perceive them.
#4. The Internet is Forever
We’ve all heard that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” However, the same isn’t true with social media. When you post something online, it’s online forever. Even if you post it in your stories or on Snapchat, someone can still screenshot your post before it vanishes.
The safe way to think about posting online is that once it’s online, there will always be a record of it, even if you delete it. A good rule of thumb is not to post anything you wouldn’t want the judge in your case to see.
#5. Don’t Discuss Your Case Online
The court expects you to put your children first during a custody case. That means you, your family, and your friends should avoid discussing your case online. Any discussion of your case can harm your case or your relationship with the person who discussed your case online should their posts become part of the evidence.
#6. Watch What You Say
One of the most important factors in successful co-parenting is to avoid talking badly about the other parent in front of your children. Before you post something, take a second to think about your intent when making the post. Just because you didn’t use any names in your post doesn’t mean people won’t read between the lines and conclude that the meme or quote you just posted is about the other parent.
Your child’s best interest is the focus of a child custody case. The judge will question your ability to co-parent if your posts are painting a different picture than your testimony in court.
#7. Don’t Post Pictures of Your Children Without a Discussion
How does the other parent feel about pictures of your children being posted on social media? If you don’t know, the two of you need to have a discussion to come to an agreement before you post any pictures. If the two of you can’t reach an agreement, talk to your lawyer to see if the judge in your case has an opinion.
#8. Avoid Photos Containing Drugs or Alcohol
It’s not uncommon for drug or alcohol use allegations to be made during a divorce or custody case. Avoid fueling the fire by not posting pictures of yourself using drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances. Photos like these can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
#9. Avoid Creating a False Financial Position
Posting about a lavish vacation or buying an expensive new car on social media during a child custody case can also impact your case. If these purchases falsely represent your financial status, the amount of child support you are ordered to pay or receive.
#10. Review Your Friends and Followers List
This may be a good time to review your friends and followers list on your social media accounts. If you have mutual friends with the other parent, they may be able to see posts that your mutual friends like or comment on. Reducing the number of followers on social media can help ensure that what you post doesn’t get back to the other parent.
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