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How social media posts can be used in child custody hearings

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Divorce |

Exercise caution!

While many parents enjoy uploading pictures of their children on social media, few realize the consequences of a careless post when they later appear in family court. No matter the state of your relationship with the other parent or relatives, exercise some caution when posting pictures of your children on social media. It is a good idea in general, even in the absence of a broken partnership. In this era, it is impossible to guarantee the retrieval of images in a rash or ill-advised Internet post once they’re out there and downloadable.

In family court, however, the importance of being careful reaches another dimension. Family photos and home movies often become exhibits … for better or worse … in ways no one anticipated. This includes images and videos that seemed hilarious or harmless at the time but look careless, neglectful, or even abusive in retrospect. There is no way—no one prescription—for balancing genuine benefits of the Internet against the danger of an unfortunate post. Just put yourself in the position of a neutral stranger who could not possibly know all the special twists and turns of your family, look in the mirror, and (before you post) ask yourself “how will my own kid feel about this post years from now?”

And then ask yourself “what would I make of this if I were a DCS social worker, police officer, judge, or custody evaluator?” 

If your honest answer doesn’t appall you, you are probably okay!