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Social media and custody: How what you post can affect your divorce

When it comes to divorce, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. When it comes to social media, your posts can land you firmly in the last two categories.

While the advent of social media means staying in touch more easily with friends and family, there is a downside. You may naturally turn to those folks for support while you are going through one of the toughest times in your life. And that’s good. We all need someone who can help us get to our new normal. Posting demeaning or derogatory comments about your ex, however, can create unintended consequences.

Why social media is a bad choice

While Facebook and Instagram can help us stay up-to –the-minute with the people in our lives, social media can also backfire when you are in the middle of dissolution negotiations. It’s normal and natural to be frustrated and angry—and getting out those feelings is essential to moving forward. Even the most solicitous of divorces, however, can head south when those feelings are expressed on a public forum.

While you may believe that your ex is not monitoring your social media accounts—and you may be correct—you can bet that the opposing counsel in your case most certainly is. Why should you be worried? Courts look to your general character and ability to work with your ex to determine who gets custody.

Yes, but…

You may be thinking, Yes, but isn’t there a presumption that we get split custody? While it’s true that nearly every state now has laws that favor shared access to the kids, the laws also clearly and emphatically state that the courts must make parental access decisions based on the best interests of the children. Being able to co-parent is part of that equation. Publicly calling out our almost-former spouse is not.

Respect and conciliation are essential components to a shared-parenting arrangement. Handling your feelings of grief is also paramount. Picking the appropriate place and venue for doing so shows maturity—and that is what the courts like to see. Turn to your friends and family, of course, but it in a manner that is private. Without doing so, you risk running afoul of the court—and that could just end with custody being granted to your ex.

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