In today's day and age, access to social media is literally at our fingertips. Sharing pictures, personal information, and life events on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has become second nature to the majority of us. But as avid social media use becomes a habit, it's really easy to underestimate how detrimental the consequences of oversharing can be in real life.
Now that social media is a part of many people's daily lives, its contents come up quite a bit in court, particularly in child custody proceedings. Parents are using posts, pictures, and updates as digital evidence against their ex in child custody hearings now more than ever. Unfortunately, some parents have learned (the hard way) that impulsively posting without considering the after-effects can cost you a whole lot in the long-run.
Social Media as Evidence
Social media outlets are an ideal place to gather evidence because all of the content posted has a corresponding timestamp. Timestamped posts allow for other users to track when you shared the information, and sometimes, your whereabouts and the people you are with. I know what you're thinking, “as long as my social media account is private, I should be fine, right?” Wrong. Everything you post online is accessible to anyone and is so forever. And it isn't uncommon for access to be granted for use of investigative purposes and trial preparation. Nonetheless, a simple screenshot of what you posted before even knew it was incriminating at any time can haunt you.
Social media can be used for a plethora of evidentiary purposes. Some parents have built up a case that their ex is unfit, or shouldn't be allowed full custody of a child, with the help of digital evidence found on social media. The reality is, what you post could lead the judge to believe that you aren't cut out to be a custodial parent or aren't worthy of being granted the type of custody you're requesting. For example, pictures of you passed out from a drunk night out, posts about you doing illegal substances, or the display of disrespectful statements about your ex can be very damaging to your case and affect custody.
Proof of reckless behavior isn't the only digital evidence that can sabotage your case. Posting your accomplishments, like a promotion at work or a fancy vacation can also negatively impact your custody. It is these posts that give the other parent the ammunition they need to commence a court battle. And it can disprove certain claims about your employment and income.
Ultimately, couples who plan on going to court for child custody in Pennsylvania should avoid social media altogether during proceedings, or otherwise be very careful about what is posted.
Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
Child custody proceedings are unpredictable. As you can see, one seemingly innocent post on social media can adversely affect your custody. To level the playing field in these cases and ensure your parental rights remain protected, you need an experienced family law attorney. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.