Social Media and Child Custody Disputes
Many people use one or more forms of social media, and when they make posts, information that they would only share with a few individuals in another era is widely disbursed. People often post on social media without considering how the pictures or statements they set forth might affect other areas of their lives. In some instances, the impact of social media and child custody disputes may be swift and harmful to a parenting plan. For example, social media posts can be used by the courts to determine whether parents should have custody or visitation rights. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is important to understand how social media could sway your case, and it is advisable to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible. The seasoned Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can help you fight to protect your parental rights and pursue an outcome that is in your child’s best interest.Evidence Considered in Child Custody Cases
In any child custody case, the court’s primary focus is what is in the child’s best interest. A court will weigh numerous factors to determine what arrangement of conservatorship and possession and access, which are terms Texas uses for custody and visitation, respectively, is most appropriate. For example, the court will determine whether there is a risk of harm with allowing either parent to enjoy conservatorship or possession of the child and if they have the resources to meet the child’s emotional, mental, and physical needs.
The court will also examine if each parent is willing to place the child’s welfare first and to encourage a relationship between the child and the co-parent. Additionally, the court will evaluate whether either parent has the ability to provide the child with a stable environment. Generally, a court will assess the evidence produced by either party to determine whether it is pertinent to any factor that is important in considering what is in a child’s best interest.Social Media and Child Custody Disputes
There are numerous social media outlets that people use to post pictures, videos, and comments regarding different aspects of their daily lives. The Texas courts have repeatedly permitted information taken from social media websites and applications to be introduced into evidence in child custody cases, as long as it can be authenticated and is relevant to the disputed issues in the case.
Many people use social media pages as a sounding board or place to vent when they are stressed, but what they may believe is a harmless post may ultimately impact their parental rights. For example, if a person states that he or she has been drinking excessively due to stress or engaging in careless behavior, the person’s co-parent may introduce the post as evidence that the person is unstable. Similarly, if people post that they want to harm their children’s co-parents or run away with their children to avoid having to share custody, it can be used as evidence that they are violent, unstable, or intend to violate an existing custody order.
Intent is not always discernible in social media posts, and even if people do not actually intend to engage in harmful actions, posts showing reckless or dangerous conduct can negatively impact their parental rights. Additionally, even if parents do not post on their own pages, inappropriate comments they make on another person’s page can be used against them.Meet with an Attorney in Dallas
The information people share on social media can hurt their custody cases, and it is critical for people currently involved with social media and child custody disputes to understand their rights. If you need help with a custody issue, the lawyers of McClure Law Group can advise you of your options and help you to seek the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. Our main office is in Dallas, and we are available to meet clients at our Collin County office in Plano as well. We frequently help people with custody disputes in Dallas, Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Garland, Irving, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also aid people with family law matters in cities throughout Dallas, Tarrant, Grayson, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.