Facebook and other social media accounts have become routine fodder for courtroom drama -- and child custody cases are no exception.
It often takes parents by surprise, however, exactly how what they post on Facebook can be negatively interpreted by their opposition.
Consider these examples:
-- The mother of a four-year-old child was ordered to unblock her Facebook account and allow the court to review every post she'd made or photo she'd uploaded in the last four years, including private ones.
The child's father alleged that her Facebook photos and posts could be used to prove that the mother was frequently on far-flung vacations without the child. The judge ruled that the information could help determine the quality and quantity of time actually spent with the child, a factor that can be important in custody.
-- Another mother lost custody of her children to her ex-husband because her Facebook comments about him were so negative that the court determined she was emotionally unable to support a healthy relationship between her children and their father.
It's absolutely critical that you don't underestimate the role that Facebook could play in your custody case -- around 81 percent of divorce attorneys admit that they use evidence gained through social media to support their cases.
You do not want to be part of that statistic. If you cannot simply remove yourself from Facebook altogether, post very little personal information and avoid photos of your location, family events or celebrations. Ask friends and relatives not to inquire about your divorce online and deflect any inquiries that are made by simply saying you aren't discussing it.
If you have any questions at all about whether or not something could be used against you, don't post it. In fact, you may want to have an early discussion with your attorney about the sort of posts that could ultimately haunt you in court.
For more information on how our firm will work to aggressively protect your child custody rights, please visit our web page.