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Melissa A. Featherston

Social media can have an impact on child custody fights

It is no secret to Missouri readers that child custody battles can be difficult and time-consuming. Many divorcing couples do not realize that even simple messages on social media can have a direct impact on child custody cases. With the increase of Americans using social media, poorly timed or inappropriate messages on Facebook or Twitter can have a legal impact.

Nothing on the internet can be assumed private. Even a Facebook post directed to friends can be seen and taken out of context. It is an increasingly common trend to see that social media use be used in court as one spouse battles another over divorce issues.

It is important to remember that pictures and statements can be saved and used in court as evidence of everything from how much money a spouse has to parenting skills, especially in custody cases. Even photos and statuses that children post can be used to prove that a person is an unfair parent. One of the most important things to remember is to keep private-life details off the internet until all divorce proceedings are finalized.

A divorce is complicated, especially when a couple cannot work together on a mutually beneficial child custody or divorce agreement. When two spouses are battling one another, anything could be used in court as evidence for certain claims. It is possible for Missouri residents to protect themselves by keeping certain information off of Facebook and Twitter. However, just because the internet is not really private does not mean that people do not have rights to protect themselves and fight for their preferred legal outcome.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, The Divorce Mistakes You Don't Even Know You're Making, Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014

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