It is certainly important to be thoughtful and cautious when approaching a divorce, as one’s behavior can influence the decisions made by a family law judge. This often involves ensuring one is aware of the law and securing proper representation for the divorce proceedings. Yet, when facing such potentially contentious matters such as child custody issues, it is also crucial that one contemplate careful steps outside of merely being aware of one’s legal rights. Specifically, being cautious on social media and refraining from making statements that could be held against one in later child custody proceedings can make all the difference in the world.
Many Illinois residents appreciate that when going through a divorce, child custody determinations are often the most hard fought of the many issues couples discuss during a separation. Illinois courts determine child custody by taking into account the best interests of the child. This means that a parent’s character, criminal history and other information can deeply effect a court’s decision surrounding a child custody ruling.
One father of two made a mistake on social media recently that he later learned to regret. Specifically he posted on Facebook a general statement about his soon-to-be-ex. His ex-wife gained access to the post through another individual and brought her ex-husband’s post, printed out, into the court room. The result was a contempt of court order against the man whereby he was ordered to apologize on Facebook every day for thirty days or face jail time.
In a world where social media acts as a far reaching platform for those who use it, it is more important than ever to be cautious when making public comments that could affect one’s divorce proceedings. While there is some question as to the right to privacy implications of using private and personal social media posts against another in a court of law, those answers are left somewhat unclear at this time by the law. This is precisely why it is better to proceed with caution.