Social media is a big aspect of our lives, and it has made its way to the family courtroom. Content posted on any social networking platform, like Facebook or Instagram, can be used as evidence in family law cases.
Digital evidence has become a reliable way for families to support their case in child custody and divorce matters. Our Woodlands family law attorney examines the potential ways your online presence could be harming your family law case.
Texas Custody and Visitation Orders
Social media can be utilized to help the court determine which parent will receive custody and visitation time, also known as conservatorship in Texas. Often, it is used to show proof that one parent is not doing what they are supposed to do in order to be a reliable parent.
If the content you post on any platform are violent or irresponsible, the court may deny you the right to custody of your children, or even visitation. Photos of a parent partying, guns, or drugs would make a parent look like they cannot care for and provide a safe environment for their child. This is because the court seeks to give the children the best they can, and safety always comes first.
Alimony and Child Support
In the event of a divorce, a party may be required to make payments to their ex-spouse, which is known as alimony, or spousal maintenance. If the couple had children, one parent can be ordered to pay child support. Evidence from social media can be used to determine the amount of spousal support and child support.
If one party claims they do not have the means to pay support, social media posts could prove otherwise. Posts and photos about vacations, expensive purchases, lavish parties, or luxurious assets like cars can be used as proof of determining the amount of financial support required. Platforms like LinkedIn may also disclose some extra source of income. Depending on what social media evidence is available, the maintenance fee to one spouse or child could potentially be increased.
Reduce the Chance of an Amicable Divorce
Getting a divorce doesn’t have to be a contentious battle, if each spouse is willing, they can amicably split. However, online activities can make this difficult for some couples to do. If one spouse starts posting about their new relationship or begins to speak negatively about the other on social media and they see it, this can lead to the other retaliating against them in the divorce process.
Rather than working together to resolve issues like property division, child custody, and spousal and child support, an angry spouse will be more likely to go through litigation. When couples divorce amicably through either mediation or collaboration, it’s often less expensive, and divorcing parents are more likely to have a better relationship which is helpful when co-parenting their children.
By avoiding social media or being cautious about what you share can help make sure your family law case does not run into bigger issues. If you are ever unsure about whether you should share or post something, think about what you would think if your ex posted it. Would you be upset? Would you be hesitant about sharing custody with them? Keep this in mind, and when in doubt, staying silent is typically the best decision.
If you believe that social media could affect your family law case, please reach out to Parchman Law Group P.L.L.C. today at (713) 364-0777 to speak to our skilled Woodlands divorce and child custody attorney.