Social media has become integral to everyone’s life, with millions of people using it every day. While it has many advantages, it can also significantly impact various aspects of your life, including child custody outcomes.
You should minimize your social media use if you’re currently addressing child custody disputes. When deciding custody issues, the court considers the parents’ behavior and conduct, including their social media activity.
1. Your posts are evidence against you
Anything you post on social media can be used as evidence in court. This includes pictures, videos and comments you make, or others make on your behalf. For example, posting pictures of yourself engaging in risky behavior could raise questions about your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for your child. Posting videos that reveal personal details about your child (such as their full name, their school, where they participate in activities) could raise questions about how seriously you take your child’s safety.
Likewise, negative comments about your ex-spouse or their family can show that you are unwilling to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. Sometimes, the posts do not even have to be directly about your ex. Joining a social media group called “My child’s other parent is a dead beat” (just for example) does not send the message that you respect your co-parent. Therefore, it’s essential to be careful about your post and think about how others could perceive it. You may not be able to control what others say or post, but you can control if you delete it or not. Make sure you set boundaries with your friends and family that your social media accounts are not a parent-bashing platforms.
2. Your social media activity can reflect your parenting capability
How you behave on social media can reflect your parenting style and values. It can be seen as a positive factor in your custody case if you (safely) post about your children, share their accomplishments and milestones, and show that you’re involved in their lives.
On the other hand, if you use your platform to rail against your child’s education system, health needs, their friends and family, or be otherwise combative or aggressive, it will lead to questions about your judgment.
3. Your social media activity can impact your mental health
Social media can be a source of stress and anxiety, especially during a divorce or custody battle. Negative comments or messages from your ex-spouse or their family may add to the emotional burden of the situation.
Moreover, spending too much time on social media can affect your mental health and ability to focus on your children’s needs.
Your posts, comments and behavior on social media can be used as evidence against you, reflect your parenting style and impact your mental health. Therefore, you must be careful about social media usage to secure a positive custody outcome. To the extent possible, consider stepping away from social media while your case is pending. At the very least, ensure that all of your accounts are set to “private,” look through your contacts and followers to remove anyone who may be aligned with your ex, and keep your posting to a minimum.