Child custody hearings are the most difficult parts of a divorce case. Parents argue over the details of custody and visitation after they settle all other matters. This is detrimental to the children, and it isn't good for the parents either. The longer families spend in court, fighting over the minutiae of schedules and overnight stays, the less time they spend building their new lives.
During these fraught negotiations, the wise course is to avoid posting anything on social media that your ex-spouse—and their attorneys—could use against you. For many people, child custody negotiations are a good time for a social media break altogether. If that doesn't work for you, try to avoid the following social media errors while the details of your custody agreement are being settled.
One: No Party Posts
Everyone has heard stories about people who lost jobs or court cases because of social media posts showing them blackout drunk at some dive bar. During a custody case, you cannot afford to have your ex bring photos or videos of you passed out at a party with laughing buddies pouring beer down your shirt.
Two: No Lavish Spending
Whether you're the parent who needs financial support or you're trying to avoid paying more, the best way to make the judge believe you only want to protect your extravagant lifestyle is an Instagram reel showing off expensive, unnecessary purchases. Child support is meant to support your children, not your shopping habit.
Three: No Risky Business
Part of your custody case will require proving you are a responsible parent. Social media posts of you and your buddies firing shotguns off the back porch or posing with your favorite bong will not help prove your responsible nature. It doesn't matter if what you're doing is perfectly legal. Anything that makes you look irresponsible should stay off the media.
Four: No Pity Parties
People go to social media looking for validation and sympathy. But no matter how much you dislike your ex, you must avoid slandering them, making allegations against them, or making any comments about the case. You should never comment on the judge or your ex-spouse's attorney, either. Leave all that to your attorney.
Five: No Cover-Ups
If you're late picking up your children on your visitation night, do not send a text claiming you were held up at work and then post pictures of you on the golf course or enjoying margaritas with friends. Not only will the other attorney find it, your kids will find it, and you can't undo that betrayal. Honesty is the best policy, even if you were really at a party.
The Lento Family Law Team Can Help
Judges are bound to make decisions in “the best interest of the child” in Pennsylvania family law cases. Social media posts showing a parent lying or behaving irresponsibly may make the judge believe you are not the best person to have full-time custody of your children.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Family Law Team understand that emotions run high during divorce cases. When clients come to us, we help them resolve issues as amicably as possible while keeping their rights foremost. If you've been careless about your posting habits, we can help minimize the effect on your custody case.
If you have been careless with your social media account and it is damaging your custody and visitation case, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Family Law Team today at 888.535.3686 or through our online contact page. You and your children deserve a caring, resourceful legal team.