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Social media use can impact child custody proceedings, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about how the use-or rather abuse-of social media can impact child custody cases. The issue is an important one in a time when many people make use of social media to communicate with one another, including couples who are going through divorce or child custody proceedings.

We have already described a couple examples of how social media use can negatively impact a parent's child custody case. Another example, besides communications suggesting a desire to alienate the other parent from the child's affection and those involving threats or suggestions of violence, would be comments demonstrating less than savory aspects of a parent's current lifestyle. This can include the quality of company a parent keeps. Because children will be exposed to this company and these behaviors, judges are able to consider these things when considering custody.

State law permits judges to consider "all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being" when making child custody determinations. It is prudent, therefore, for parents to avoid airing frustrations online and engaging in social media disputes with their spouse during divorce and child custody proceedings.

Another risk of social media communication during contentious child custody proceedings is that of false or misleading allegations from a spouse. Social media communications can potentially be used in support of false allegations. In any child custody case, of course, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that one's parental rights receive the advocacy they deserve.

Source: Arizona Legislature, "Legal decision-making; best interests of child," Dec. 10, 2014.

phoenix.com, Supreme Court considers Facebook threats case," Sam Hananel, Dec. 2, 2014.

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