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Melissa A. Featherston

Don't post to Facebook during Missouri child custody battles

Facebook can be a wonderful tool to keep in touch with Missouri friends and family. For some, though, it becomes a tool used against them in divorce or family court. In one case, a mother lost child custody after she reportedly posted derogatory comments about her son on his Facebook page.

The woman reportedly admitted to posting negative comments about her son and stated she did so because she wanted to ensure her friends knew how she felt about the matter. However, she also admitted to both verbally and physically abusing the child, and she has refused to participate in counseling sessions with her son. Reports state the child suffers from mental issues.

A New York court stripped custody of her three children from her and awarded sole custody to the father. Court documents stated there was evidence of more than one instance where she participated in inappropriate behavior. In addition, the court granted a protection order that prohibited the woman from posting anything on social media related to her children. She appealed the verdict, but not only was the protection order upheld, the court also upheld the decision to award the father child custody.

Any Facebook posting can become fuel in a Missouri courtroom during a divorce or child custody war, especially if written in a derogatory or negative manner towards one of the involved parties. It can be easy to get caught up in the emotions about a situation, but it may be a better idea to talk with trusted loved ones or friends before resorting to social media venting. Doing so could prevent serious repercussions like this woman suffered.

Source: Huffington Post, "Mom Ordered To Stop Posting On Kids' Facebook Pages, New York Supreme Court Upholds Decision," Feb. 20, 2013

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