Social Media and Divorce

Orders pertaining to child custody (parenting plans, temporary orders) typically contain the following clause or something similar:

Neither parent shall make disparaging remarks about the other parent or any other remarks that might cause diminishment of the child’s respect for the other parent either to the child or in the presence of the child, nor shall they allow the child to make disparaging remarks about the other parent.
In this age of social media most parents have Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ accounts.  A handy way for parents to monitor their children’s use of these accounts is to add their children as online friends.

In a moment of frustration, it is not out of the realm of possibility for someone to post “my crazy ex was late again” or something along those lines.  Or perhaps a parent can’t resist the urge to post “I’m going to fight for my children.  The truth will come out!”  Posts such as these to social media sites are usually followed by gratifying messages of support from other online friends.

But here’s the kicker…those posts can be viewed as being disparaging to the other parent.  Also, if the child is in the friend’s list, the disparaging remark just happened in the presence of the child.

Parents oversharing online is becoming a common stumbling block for family law litigants.  Most divorcing spouses promptly “unfriend” their soon-to-be ex and then bask in the mistaken belief that their online content is private.  Just type “there is no such thing as internet privacy” into Google and marvel at the number of hits.

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