During custody cases in the age of social media, they naturally play a role in the outcome. Giving the judge a snapshot of the day-to-day happenings, what is shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. can give them clarity when deciding custody matters.
How does social media impact the judge’s decision?
Anything you post, like, share, or comment on can be used in court.
It’s also not limited to your account – it can be your parents’, spouse’s, significant other’s, close friends’ that see the child often, etc.
Because of this, be cautious what you share. Tell those close to you to do the same, and don’t be afraid to ask them to take something down that could be potentially harmful to your case.
Avoid: negative statements toward the other party, any information about the case (good and bad), any photos or statements that would be violating a court order, photos that give the impression of danger around the child, etc.
If you have already shared any of these, let your attorney know the exact contents and delete them immediately.
Anything the other party posts, likes, shares, or comments on can also be used in court.
If they are not being cautious, document what you’re seeing.
Confidentially screenshot each item you see, or ask that the friend or family member that sees something do this, and let your lawyer know. If you’re able to capture the date each was shared in the screenshot it will help the court and counsel understand the timeline of events documented.
Do not let the opposing party know you’re doing this.
Look out for: negative statements toward you or the child, any information about the case (good and bad), any photos or statements that would be violating the court order, photos that show the child in danger or in a potentially harmful situation, etc.
More information is better than less, so share everything you’re seeing and hearing with your attorney.
While capturing screenshots and taking them to a judge may sound straight forward, nuances are involved when using evidence against opposing parties and presenting it respectfully to the court. Always consult with your attorney as your case unfolds and progresses, each case is different and requires unique preparation.