In today’s society use of technology such as smart phones, iPad and social networking is common and second nature. But there is an insidious side to social media, particularly when used by a divorcing or divorced couple, which may adversely impact child custody.

Michigan residents in the middle of a divorce or custody dispute are familiar with the emotions involved in custody and parenting time cases. These couples know that in the heat of a moment one parent may email, text or make a post online about the other parent and regret the consequences later. It is important for divorcing couples to keep in mind that in the family court system, a presiding judge may be able to read all the emails, texts and other postings made. Some of what may be written in the heat of the moment might make the person seem like an unfit parent. Thus, it is very important to keep communications civil, constructive and to the point. In fact, the American Association for Matrimonial Lawyers notes that nearly 81 percent of all divorce case last year used social media as supporting evidence when present their case.

Given the accessibility of the Internet, it is important for divorcing couples to exercise control when making posts online. Further, information on the Internet can stay around for a long time. Thus, it is important for those in a custody battle to think about how it may impact their children when their children come across that information on the Internet.

Without a doubt child custody issues for parents and extended family members is an emotional issue. In today’s society, however, it is important to control one’s urge to make a negative post, write a negative email or text to the other parent.

Source: Washington Times, “Email, texting can become a WMD during a divorce or custody case,” Myra Fleischer, April 23, 2013