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The Role of Social Media in Family Law Cases

Social media is a stick of dynamite that could serve a useful purpose or blow up in your face.

Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and other social media platforms are a double-edged sword in family law matters. Properly managed social media posts could have a tremendous positive effect on your divorce, child custody, or other family law cases. Improperly managed social media posts have the opposite effect. These effects are not quite as pronounced in alimony, child support, property division, and other economic issues.

Out-of-court social media management underscores the importance of complete legal representation in every area. A good Fort Worth family law attorney does not simply prepare for court and serves as a strong voice for you. A good lawyer pays close attention to details, like social media posts, that other lawyers often overlook. These details are frequently the difference between a good and bad outcome in court.

Positive Effects

Most people spend several hours a day on social media sites. A Fort Worth family law attorney shows clients how to put this time to good use by liking articles, posting pictures, and making positive comments.

Content related to co-parenting and other such topics is all over the internet. We encourage clients to post links to this content on their profile pages and also comment on the article, mostly to prove they read it. These two things (linking and commenting) show you are not only interested in learning about co-parenting and related topics. You are also willing to put what you learned into practice.

Most people spend a lot of time on social media, and most people take lots of pictures with their smartphone cameras. Activity pictures are very important. Everyday pictures, such as your kids doing their homework or eating their dinner, could be even more important. Such photos show you are a parent, not an event planner.

Making positive comments is usually the hardest part of this process. These positive comments should include positive comments about your ex-spouse. Usually, people have very few nice things to say about their ex-spouses. These nice comments should be more than superficial. They should affirm your ex-spouse’s ability to co-parent the children.

Affirming the children is a little easier. Once again, these affirmations should be more than superficial. Specifically comment about a child’s test grade or soccer game. On a related note, post positive comments about the other soccer team and the referees, to show what kind of person you are.

Stay off dating sites, pornography sites, and “angry parent” sites. Your browsing history could be used against you in court. More on that below.

Negative Effects

Most people spend a lot of time on social media and do not think before they hit “enter.” One negative rant could undo months of positive work.

Such posts often violate the standard property-and-parties restraining order. These orders usually prohibit one parent from disparaging the other one in the presence of the children or within their earshot. So, posting an angry rant could be as bad as stalking an ex-spouse or kidnapping a child, at least from a technical standpoint.

These posts, as well as overall internet activity, could also be admissible in court, under an exception to the hearsay rule. The present sense exception or statement against interest exception could apply.

Even if a Fort Worth family law attorney can keep social media rants out of court, a lawyer typically cannot stop a social services worker from evaluating them as part of a social services investigation. That inclusion could be even worse than courtroom use.

On a related note, watch what you like or dislike. Liking or disliking a post is essentially the same thing as authoring the post.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Tarrant County Family Law Attorney

Social media activity could take your case to the stars or take it off the launching pad. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Fort Worth, contact the Law Office of Kyle Whittaker. Convenient payment plans are available.