How social media can negatively impact divorce and child custody proceedings

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Thursday, January 28, 2016.

According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2015, an estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults had at least one social media account. Facebook remains, by far, the most popular of these sites with an estimated 72 percent of U.S. adult Internet users reporting having a Facebook account.

Most avid Facebook users view the site as a way to connect and keep in touch with the daily goings-ons in the lives of old and new friends alike. Some users share news of their personal triumphs as well as any challenges or difficulties they may be face. In cases where an individual is going through a divorce, it’s important to understand how information shared via Facebook or other similar social media websites may negatively impact the outcome of one’s case.

Take for example an individual who chooses to post a hostile rant about a soon-to-be ex. From the perspective of an ex and, more importantly, a judge; this type of action may indicate mental instability and could serve to damage an individual’s chances of securing a favorable divorce settlement. More importantly, for couples embroiled in child custody battles, ripping an ex on social media can negatively impact custody and visitation decisions.

In addition to the actual comments an individual may post or even like, Facebook in particular can provide other clues into how an individual is coping with a divorce. For example, a judge isn’t likely to have much sympathy for an individual who claims to be destitute yet posts or is tagged in photos while on a tropical vacation. Likewise, photos that an individual posts or is tagged in of he or she out partying can come back to haunt a mother or father in a child custody case.

Missouri residents, who are going through a divorce or child custody battle, are advised to simply take a break from social media. Even seemingly innocent comments and photos can be misinterpreted and used by an ex during divorce and child custody proceedings.

Source:, “5 Rules for Social Media Use During Divorce,” Andrew Lu, Feb. 20, 2013

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