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Use of Social Media and Electronic Communication in Divorce and Custody Cases

People of all ages use electronic modes of communication and chronicle their lives on social media.  When going through divorce and custody litigation it is important to be aware of how your electronic communication and social media posts can either assist you in your divorce and custody case or how it can damage your divorce and custody case.

Below are some tips on how to use electronic communication and social media in divorce and custody cases.  In many cases these are behaviors that will also assist you in keeping your divorce and custody case as amicable as possible:

  1. Assume that everything you write in electronic communication (text messages, emails, messenger services, etc.) will be read by the Judge that will ultimately determine the outcome of your divorce and custody case. Before you send your communication, post on social media, etc, ask yourself how you would feel if that communication was presented to the Judge deciding your case?
  2. Do not curse at your spouse/child’s parent or call your spouse/child’s parent derogatory names. Follow this suggestion even if your spouse/child’s parent is cursing at you or is calling you derogatory names over electronic communication.
  3. If you are required to provide your spouse/child’s parent with information or documentation, when possible, provide that information in writing through electronic communication. This limits the possibility that information and documents are misplaced and will allow you to keep a record of your compliance.
  4. Limit your social media posts as much as possible and if you feel compelled to post on social media do not create posts that provide personal information about you, your spouse/child’s parent, or your children. Do not post derogatory information about your spouse/child’s parent, or post information about the bad things you perceive your spouse/parent’s child has done.
  5. Do not assume that because your social media post is set to “private” or only able to be viewed by your social media “friends” that your post will be inaccessible to your spouse/child’s parent.
  6. Save and backup all electronic communications with your spouse/child’s parents. Save and backup the communication to a platform that will not be easily lost.  For example, do not save electronic communication on your phone only.  If you lose or damage your phone the electronic communication will be lost.

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