Social media allows us to express ourselves to all of our friends, family, acquaintances, and more. There are undeniable positives that come with the ability to connect and share our thoughts—especially in an unprecedented time when “social distancing” is part of everyone’s vocabulary. There are, however, consequences when social media is not used responsibly or thoughtfully. In our experience as family lawyers, social media can negatively impact issues of child custody.
Your Children are Paying Attention
First, all of your social media activity is subject to public release and is virtually impossible to take back. Depending on your children’s ages, they may be more technically savvy than you and know how to see everything that you post; or, they may hear about what you posted from other people. Be sure to keep this in mind if you choose to share your thoughts about their other parent, about them, and about child custody issues.
Demonstrating That You Will Not Co-Parent Well
When deciding child custody, some of the factors that courts must consider include:
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
- The level of conflict between the parents.
- The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
If the court sees evidence of ongoing vitriol and animosity from one parent through social media posts, this will paint a negative picture for the court. A court will have little choice but to conclude that there is an unacceptable level of conflict between parents, that the parents cannot productively co-parent the children, and that the parent posting the negative messages cannot be trusted to encourage a continuing relationship with the other parent.
Creating Your Credibility Problem
Another way that social media activity can hurt you is by damaging your credibility. If statements you make via social media contradict what you tell the court, this will negatively influence the court’s conclusions about whether you are a credible witness. As courts have the sole discretion to determine whether to believe or disbelieve a witness based on their credibility, social media can severely impact how a court sees you and weighs your testimony.
Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., Family Law Representation
A family lawyer can help you reach your best child custody outcome. At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P., our family law attorneys are experienced professionals who put our clients first. We listen to our clients and provide effective advice and representation. Let us advocate for your parental rights. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.