Social media is an integral part of our lives, connecting us to friends, family and the world at large. In addition to helping make personal connections, social media posts can play a significant role in legal matters such as child custody cases in California.
The way parents present themselves on their social media platforms can have consequences on custody arrangements.
Online posts reveal personal information
The posts people make on social media platforms can reveal a lot about their lifestyles, behaviors and choices. In child custody cases, California courts may look to online posts as evidence to evaluate a parent’s fitness to care for their child. For example, you might share content involving excessive partying, substance use or other inappropriate behavior. A judge may look at these posts and think you cannot provide a stable home environment for your children.
Privacy settings are not foolproof
According to a study by Viasat, only half of social media users change their accounts to private mode. Setting your social media profiles to private during your divorce is a good step to keep your personal information hidden. Yet, it is not foolproof. Your friends and other followers can still share screenshots or information from private accounts, making it accessible to your ex-spouse and the court. Thinking twice before posting can help avoid future custody conflicts.
The digital footprint lasts
Even after a custody case settles, your digital footprint remains. Past posts can resurface and potentially impact future custody arrangements. Avoid sharing sensitive personal information like your home address or phone number. Refrain from posting details that could compromise your children’s safety, like specific school locations or daily routines.
Maintaining a responsible online presence should be an ongoing commitment that continues past the final divorce decree.