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Melissa A. Featherston

How social media can impact a child custody order

Social media has impacted almost every area of life, and Missouri readers will not be surprised to learn that it can also affect their divorce. In fact, social media can have a direct impact on a child custody order or other aspects of the divorce proceedings. Parents should always practice caution when posting about their children, particularly during divorce. 

Before posting to a social media site, a parent should carefully consider how a post could impact their case if it was printed off and used as evidence against them. It is possible, particularly during an acrimonious divorce, that pictures and statements on Facebook or Twitter could be used to bolster the case that a particular parent is unfit. This applies to negative statements regarding a former spouse, the family court judge or even details of the litigation process. 

Some divorce orders prohibit either parent from disclosing information about the children on social media sites. Missouri parents should proceed with caution regarding posts that could reveal private information. If a post violates the terms of a divorce order or if it may be used as ammunition in a contested custody case, it should not be written. Nothing is ever truly deleted from the Internet, including what was posted on Facebook.

Social media offers many benefits. It is a tool that should be used wisely, especially by a parent who is facing the complex process of ending a marriage. Those who are navigating a difficult divorce or child custody dispute may be wise to post with caution or avoid social media for a period of time.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Social Media and Divorce: Why You Should Put the Keyboard Down and Log Out", Ashley Tate Cooper, Dec. 7, 2015

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