To Share or Not to Over-share: How Social Media Can Impact Custody
In today’s world, everyone lives out loud on social media. We have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat all at our fingertips. While these outlets can be great ways to connect with other professionals, share photos with friends or stay in touch with your college crew, you may not realize what such sharing can really do in the context of a family law case.
For those involved in a custody matter with their child’s other parent, social media can be scrutinized. It can give insight into your whereabouts, activities, who you hang out with, who you bring your children around and what you are thinking at any moment. Taking a moment to think about what you post before you post it can help you avoid those status updates or mobile uploads from making their way into court.
Here are a few tips to help navigate social media in the context of your custody arrangement.
1. Think before you type/tweet/share. Having so much ready access to our social media allows us to post something as soon as it pops into our head or happens in real time. This may mean something positive. But it also may mean you are taking 140 characters to get angry at your ex. When you know the family court is watching, take a minute to think about who could see what you are posting and if the impact on your children is worth it.
2. Remain truly positive. I often see parents posting what they think is positivity on social media. But really it is a passive aggressive attack on the other parent. Highlighting yourself only to slam the other party really just back fires. If you want to post that fun day with your daughter because it was truly a day she enjoyed, do it. Don’t also make a crack about how she only gets to experience such things when in your care.
3. Do not be a stalker. Do not constantly troll your child’s other parent’s page and bring up what you see and read to them in real life. Especially do not bring it up at custodial exchanges. If what they have posted is really an issue and puts your child at risk, confront them in a mature way; either in an email or through your attorney.
4. Do not have other’s post on your behalf. Do not tell your cousin to comment on your son’s father’s picture or have your aunt post a cryptic status update about her ex-niece in law. Just because it wasn’t technically you who posted, does not mean you aren’t going to catch the blame.
Use the above tips and keep them in mind next time you go to share. The difference between a share and an over-share could greatly impact your child or your custody order. If you are not sure what is and is not appropriate or how it could change your custody order, feel free to contact Previtera & Schimmel today for an initial consultation to discuss your options.