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The impact of social media on custody proceedings

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2018 | Child Custody & Visitation |

It is easy for those going through divorce proceedings to allow their emotions to get the best of them. Most dedicate a great deal of effort to remaining composed during actual hearings, choosing instead to vent their frustrations behind closed doors. This is fine, yet only if one does it wisely. Soon-to-be divorcees in Federal Way may be shocked to discover just how quickly and easily comments that they make in certain forums (such as social media) can be used against them during their proceedings. 

According to the Pew Research Center, social media use is commonplace amongst Americans, with the percentage of adults using such applications broken down as follows: 

  • Facebook: 68 percent
  • Instagram: 35 percent
  • Snapchat: 27 percent 
  • Twitter: 24 percent

Many mistakenly believe that whatever content or comments they post to such sites will only be seen by people they can trust not to share them. Thus, they may make negative or disparaging comments about their ex-spouses that could potentially hurt them in their divorce proceedings (particularly with issues such as child custody). 

How is this possible? Information shared by the American Bar Association cites specific examples where courts allowed negative comments posted on social media to be used as evidence against people in custody hearings. Indeed, the same ABA reference shows that 81 percent of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers use information taken from social media as evidence in their cases. Knowing this, those going through a divorce (and hoping to secure favorable child custody rulings) should be careful what they post on their social media sites. Most family law experts would recommend avoiding posting anything regarding their proceedings or their ex-spouses at all (just to be safe).