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Does social media matter in a custody case?

We live in a very real virtual world. Social media has become as intrinsic part of our lives. As much of a positive platform that social media can be for our relationships and business, it can also be a toxic additive during divorce or custody battles.

We put everything online. Police departments and other employers have been known to use social media as one aspect of background checks for potential hires. So why should family court be any different? That is not to say that the family court judge or child welfare agency is online right now checking out your profile and posts, but your soon-to-be ex might.

Just as your comments, pictures and posts are designed to give your followers a look inside your life, they may also give the family court a view of you that you wish stayed hidden. Yes, there is a fundamental loss of meaning in the real to virtual world translation, but requesting certain things during a divorce or custody battle that your social media profile doesn't support looks bad.

Seeking a modification in child support while social media has you on vacation or requesting a change in the visitation schedule while you post pictures of your late nights out, may have the family court questioning your motives. The chances are that if you are looking to gain custody or make other related changes you are diligent about managing your online presence. However, all it takes is one slip up for your character to come into question. While you can't imagine anyone sifting through your last 1,000 posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for something to use against you, the threat of losing custody or income to an ex is more than enough reason for some.

If you are facing a custody battle and are concerned about how social media may play a role in the proceedings, meeting with an experienced family law attorney may help.

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Goddard & Malmquist
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