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How Social Media Posts of Parents and Kids Can Impact Custody

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Family Law

Blog ImageIt is estimated that more than 300 million people in the United States have at least one social media account. As people spend more and more time on social media, a larger percentage of their lives ends up getting documented, for better or for worse. Social media has a way of impacting nearly every aspect of our lives. Child custody cases are no exception.

Whatever gets posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms, either by a child or a parent, may eventually be used in court against a parent during a child custody case if the content paints a negative picture of their parenting capabilities. This is why it is so important to understand the significant impact any posting can have in a custody case. It is also why it is important to have a skilled Illinois family lawyer advocating for you.

In the Best Interest of the Child

When two parents cannot come to a custody agreement on their own, the matter will have to be settled in court by a judge. In these situations, each party will submit evidence to the court showing their attributes as a caretaker and potentially the negative traits that the other party possesses. Custody decisions are always made in what the court believes is in the best interest of the child. As such, any negative issues that are brought up in court will harm your chances of a successful custody decision in your favor.

Some of the factors the court will evaluate include:

  • Physical and emotional stability of each parent, as well as their ability to provide a stable and safe environment for the child.

  • Child's safety and each parent's ability to protect the child from harm and ensure their physical safety.

  • Quality of the parent-child relationship, including communication, emotional connection, and involvement in the child's life.

  • Willingness to co-parent and cooperate with the other parent in making important decisions and facilitating parenting time or custody arrangements.

  • Consistency in parenting and the parent’s ability to provide a consistent and structured routine for the child, including schooling, daily routines, and discipline.

  • Financial stability and the ability to provide for the child's basic needs, including food, clothing, housing, and education, are considered.

  • Home environment, including its cleanliness, safety, and overall environment.

Social Media That Portrays You in an Unseemly Light

Social media can be used as evidence to show a parent’s inability to meet any of the above factors. Photos, videos, and posts can be introduced as evidence to show a parent’s unstable lifestyle, excessive drinking, promiscuity, intolerance of others, and more.

Evidence from social media can be used to paint an accurate or inaccurate picture of what that parent is truly like outside of the courtroom, and the judge may use this information to decide in how custody and parenting time should be determined.

Negative Postings from the Child

The court can also use information from a child’s social media account to make a custody decision. For example, if the child’s social media account shows them behaving in an out-of-control, self-destructive, or otherwise negative manner when they are in the custody of a certain parent, that can be used to show that the parent is unfit or unable to properly and safely care for the child.

Contact a DuPage County IL Family Lawyer for Your Custody Issues

If you are involved in a child custody case, there are a number of things that you should avoid. Call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Naperville, IL family law attorneys to ensure your parenting rights are protected.

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