Social media is evolving into something much more than a fun way to share pictures and updates about life. Increasingly, social media is being cited in one form or another during divorce proceedings. From revealing information about a new job in an email to Facebook pictures that show a certain level of financial prosperity, this relatively new way of sharing information is affecting everything from property division to child custody agreements.
Truly discerning an individual's unique and personal situation from a social media page can admittedly be difficult, but this has not stopped popular sites like Facebook and Twitter from becoming regulars in divorces. This is especially true when parents are unable to create a child custody arrangement on their own and must go before a judge. Family law judges in New York are tasked with the monumental responsibility of determining what is in a child's best interests as well as which parent has truly been the primary caregiver. Social media websites can be interpreted as a running log of what a parent is doing and, perhaps more importantly, when. A drunk status update posted during a period of time in which a parent is responsible for a child might not shine favorably on that individual.
Child support can even be affected by what is depicted on a parent's social media page. LinkedIn profiles can reveal jobs or side-businesses that were otherwise not disclosed in an effort to pay less child support per month. In other instances, pictures depicting a parent's lavish spending or expensive behavior can also help primary parents secure the support necessary to raise their children, especially if the other parent claims that he or she does not have the income stream to pay any type of child support.
While it is almost certainly a good idea to always exercise care when posting on social media, this is especially true during divorce. However, certain posts can also be valuable for proving that another party does indeed have the financial means to pay child support, or that he or she has not necessarily displayed a responsible attitude towards parenting in the past. Still, it is usually up to a New York family law judge to determine whether a social media posting actually has any bearing on a child custody agreement or a divorce settlement.
Source: The Huffington Post, "A Look at How Social Media is Impacting Divorce Cases", William Morrow, June 23, 2016