Social media platforms are such a deeply ingrained part of modern life that it’s all too easy to make mistakes using them when you are in the midst of a child custody case in New Mexico. Not only could the details of your social media use and behavior damage your custody case, it could also harm your children, particularly if it results in a less-than-ideal custody arrangement.
Your best bet is to not use social media at all during your custody case proceedings. On a blackout, you’ll be unable to unknowingly make a mistake. However, if you find that you can’t refrain from using it entirely, at least keep the following truths in mind so you can avoid making costly mistakes.
Contradictory Statements Can Come Back and Haunt You
Anything you post that directly contradicts a statement you made to the court can be used against you. If you have told the court that you are an available parent but constantly post photos or blurbs of yourself traveling for work, it’s not going to be good for your case.
Social Media Is Misleading
When someone sees your social media posts, they do not have any context for them. If you are someone who only drinks occasionally but you mainly post-drinking photos to your Facebook account, it may look to an outsider as if you have a drinking problem. That can be used in court against you later in a custody case, supporting an argument that you are an unfit parent. You have to consider how your posts would look to someone who doesn’t know you, and how all those posts would look taken together and not just on their own.
Posts Can Be Taken at Face Value
Everyone needs to blow off some steam now and again, and you may be in the habit of doing so on social media. This can damage your custody case when your anger is directed at your child’s other parent. If, for example, you are angry about something the other parent did and you post that you won’t be allowing them near the kids once the custody case is over, the court could see that post and take that as you truly threatening the other parent’s access to the kids. As a result, you could lose time with your kids because the court may view your threat seriously even if you didn’t mean it and would never do that.
If you find yourself frustrated with your other parent or the court, talk to relatives and friends you trust in person. Do not put anything like that in writing. That rant text or email you sent to your other parent or their relative could make its way into court for the judge to read.
Old Posts Never Die
Don’t delete old posts on social media, even if you’re concerned about them and what they say about you as a person. Deleted posts can still pop up later, and your act of deleting them could be viewed as guilty behavior by the court. If you have posts you are concerned about anyone seeing, show them to your family law attorney. They will advise you on your best course of action here.
If you decide to use social media during your child custody case, never post anything related to the case or your co-parent on any of your accounts, even if they are private. You’ll also have to consider the potential implications of every post, check-in and photo upload before you make that final click so you don’t deal any blows to your child custody position.