Social media and child custody: what you need to know
Deciding who children will live with following a relationship breakdown can be extremely stressful. If parents cannot reach an agreement, it may be necessary to ask the family court to decide the child arrangements.
The temptation to post on social media during a child custody court case can be difficult to resist, particularly if you feel that the court, or your ex-partner, is being unfair. In the past, anyone who felt there had been an injustice in the family courts, may decide to go to the media in an attempt to publicise their story. Most of the time, the media would decide that the story was not of interest and it would not go any further.
Now, it is possible to head home from court and publicise your grievances online through your social media accounts. Before posting anything online, it is vital to fully consider the potential consequences.
Posting on social media about child custody cases in the family courts could significantly damage your case
Courts are likely to take a dim view of anyone who attempts to undermine the court’s authority using social media. Indeed, the court’s decisions further down the line could be influenced by any social media posts about the case.
Furthermore, and maybe more importantly, normally children who are part of family court proceedings should remain anonymous and the court could penalise anyone who breaks this rule. Even if you do not name the children, it may be possible for them to be identified from what you have said in your post.
Consider the impact of your social media post on your children and the wider family
Of course, it is not just the court proceedings that could be affected by your social media posts. Your words could negatively affect your children not just now, but also in the future. They could even cause irreparable rifts within your family. Once your words are out there online, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to take them back again.
Even if you alter your privacy settings so your post can only be seen by those you want to see it initially, this does not stop it being shared more widely through other means and on other platforms by those people in the future.
Although it can be helpful to seek support from friends and family by talking about your child custody case with them, discussing your case on social media should be avoided.
If you want to find out more about how social media posts could affect court proceedings or want to know what action you can take if your ex-partner is discussing your child custody case online, get in touch to book your free consultation with one of our specialist family lawyers.