Did you know that recent statistics say that almost 90% of Americans are active on some social media platform? We also average about two hours and 27 minutes daily of scrolling, reading, and watching videos on social media platforms. It connects us with our friends, family, and the world, and social media has become a significate part of our lives. Many of us also follow celebrities and social media influencers to glimpse at what our favorite stars are up to or the new trends in things like fashion, home, and parenting. But social media is only sometimes fun, and it’s essential to understand the other, more harmful, side of social media and how it can affect child custody agreements.
Recently, HGTV’s Christina Hall has been in the news with consistent headlines regarding her son and her custody battle with her ex-spouse, Ant Anstead. He has been constantly upset with Christina for putting their son on social media. As a result, “Christina’s ex filed an emergency order with the courts requesting full custody. He stated that she was putting their son in “dangerous” situations and did not want him posted on Instagram to be used as an ad or sponsored content.”
Does social media affect child custody agreements?
The short answer is yes, it does. What you post on social media could affect your child custody agreements. The court’s primary objective has the best intention for both parents to have a fair child custody agreement allowing both parents to spend time with their children consistently. However, there are times when specific things you post on social media can cause your ex to bring to the judge and possibly make changes or new requests to your current child custody agreement. Here are a few examples of evidence your ex can use to change your arrangement.
Using your children on social media:
Your agreement might state that you can’t post photos of your child on social media until they are old enough to make the decision themselves. But, again, this agreement is something you and your ex-spouse need to agree on.
Posting about substance abuse:
Photos of you on social media using substances or drinking can affect your child’s agreement. These photos can make you look irresponsible, and a court will not likely ignore posts of this nature. So it’s important to drink responsibly, avoid drugs, and not post about partying on social media.
Venting on social media:
If you post about your ex-spouse or post negatively about your child, these posts can be used against you during your child custody case. In addition, your ex-spouse can also bring this information to the court’s attention and request a change to the agreement.
Income can be a significant factor in child custody, typically determining how much child support needs to be paid. Posting about things such as lavish vacations, expensive purchases, or new vehicles makes the court view you as able to pay more than you can actually pay. Your ex-spouse can also bring you back to court after seeing these posts and request more money from you.
Creating dating profiles or posting photos of the new person you are dating can also affect your child custody agreement. Our Texas divorce attorneys recommend waiting until you are divorced and your child custody arrangement is finalized to begin dating or joining dating sites.
Tips for social media while going through a child custody agreement
As you go through your child custody agreement, here are some helpful tips for acting on social media.
- Refrain from posting negatively about your ex-spouse and your child on social media. Instead, ensure you have a positive support system, including seeing a therapist to help you resolve issues.
- Be careful with texts, DM’s, and private messages. These can also be used against you in court.
- Do not delete previous posts. The court could see deleted posts as an admission of guilt. It’s always better, to be honest with the court about any previous posts that are brought up. They will value your integrity and honesty. (You can also block your ex-spouse on social media and set your account private.)
We can help answer your questions about divorce, social media, or your child custody agreement.
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