SOCIAL MEDIA

     Millions of people use popular Social Media sites like Facebook on a daily basis to let their friends and family know what they are doing. However, parents who find themselves in the middle of a conflicted Child Custody case need to be especially aware of their actions. It is now very common for parents going through a divorce in Sacramento County to have their social media activities brought up in Court.

         Many of us post personal photos of our vacations and other activities on the internet on places like Facebook or Instagram. These are great ways to share pictures of the kids with relatives who may live many miles away. However, you should always keep in mind that any photo that is posted on the internet will likely stay on the web forever! This is true even if you have tried to take down and delete the photo. Once a picture has been scanned by Google's indexing programs, it is stored for ever. More than one person has had a potentially embarrassing personal picture come back to haunt them even though they may have thought it was deleted. Parents involved in a difficult custody battle need to be especially careful about what pictures they post on the web. A harmless photo of you drinking a beer at a baseball game might be shown to the Judge as "proof" of your "substance abuse issues". The other parent may try to show the Judge the pictures on your Facebook page and claim that you may be unfit to raise your children.  Every Family Law Judge in the Sacramento County Court has had a parent in the Court Room waive around photos printed from the other parent's Social Media pages.

     Every parent should be careful about what pictures of the children are posted on Facebook. It is good practice to limit whatever personal information about the kids you post to leave out things like school they attend.  Again, parents in the middle of a divorce should be even more careful here. A problem can arise when a parent going through a divorce case posts a photo of the kids with that parent's new significant other. Many calm custody cases can fall apart and become contentious when a parent sees a photo of their children on a beach vacation with the other parent's new girlfriend or boyfriend. A good relationship with the other parent is always best for you and your children. Avoid putting up pictures that may antagonize the other parent.