Social Media and the Impact on Child Custody Orders

When an Illinois parent is facing divorce, it is normal to need a place to vent frustrations and seek input from friends. As easy as it is to seek support from friends and family through Facebook or Twitter, it may be best to step away from social media in certain circumstances. In some cases, what is posted on social media could actually impact a child custody agreement.

If a social media post could be construed as suggestive, immature or demonstrates poor judgement as a parent, it could be used against that person during a custody dispute. Before posting a picture or status, a parent should carefully consider how it would impact his or her case if it was brought before the court. Anything that is posted could be used to support the other parent’s case during a custody dispute.

A divorce is a complex process, but details regarding a custody case, negative opinions about the family court judge or even disparaging remarks about the other parent should be kept off social media. Illinois courts do not typically look kindly upon public shaming during divorce. Additionally, a private litigation matters should not be discussed through Facebook posts.

A parent may be particularly vulnerable during a complicated divorce, but he or she should carefully consider the benefit or possible repercussions of any social media posts in the time before, during or after a divorce. Divorce or child custody matters should not be settled in the court of public opinion. In many cases, a parent will benefit from signing off of social media and instead seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer.

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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