As parents, most of us can hear ourselves nagging at our children about what they post online when we hear the phrase social media. “You know what you put online never really goes away.” We are constantly worried about what our kids might be posting and how it may affect their futures, but have you ever thought that you may be subject to the same dangers? Social media creates a web of interconnectivity, that exposes you to a world of opportunity, but also judgment. The lack of privacy that accompanies social media can come into play in our everyday lives, or even during a divorce.
Anything you post online can be used as evidence against you in your divorce
Pictures, statuses, and even texts can be used as ammunition in any child custody case where your own words are used against you. Social media posts are often used as a type of evidence in divorce courts causing major issues when it comes to custody battles. A Facebook rant can feel good at the moment. It allows you to have your voice heard and to get your anger off of your chest, but the nasty words can be used as a testament to your character. Any post of you bad-mouthing your ex-spouse, or a picture of you drinking with your friends can reflect poorly on you in the eyes of the court.
For most of us, posting, tweeting, and even texting seems like second nature. You don’t think twice about it. But when going through a divorce it is important to slow down and think how someone else may view your behavior. Whether that be cursing, drinking, or trash-talking, it can certainly sway the judge to make a decision that is not in your favor. Of course, drinking a glass of wine doesn’t make you a bad parent, but just about anything can be taken out of context and spun to look worse than it is.
Sharing events on social media such as vacations and family parties can keep you connected with old college friends, grandparents, or even that aunt you only talk to once a year. But in some situations, such as in the case of a custody agreement, a picture can be proof that you violated your court order.
You may violate your custody order without even realizing it
In some custody orders, parents agree that neither parent can take their child out of the state without permission or that their child is not allowed to be around a certain person. If either of these circumstances is posted online, even by accident, say in a location, or a picture, it can put you in violation of the court order. It may seem harmless to post a picture of your child at a cousin’s birthday party, yet in a circumstance where you and your ex agreed your child couldn’t spend the day with a specific aunt, and she happens to be at the party with you, it can become a bigger issue than what filter to put on the picture.
Be overly cautious when it comes to posting anything online during or after a divorce
You may be thinking “oh I’m fine, my account is private,” and although that can keep certain people from lurking on your page, anyone that does follow your account has full range to send it to or show it to anyone they want. The classic and overused line, it’s better to be safe than sorry, really does hold some weight. Most of the time, the posting is not worth the consequences that may follow, especially when those consequences involve your kids. The bottom line is that all forms of social media leave behind a trail that cannot be undone and this trail can be vital to your child custody order. To see more about how custody agreements work, look to the article “How is Custody Shared in a Divorce?”