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Social media can affect child custody cases

Divorce is rarely easy, but it can be especially difficult when children are involved. Oftentimes, parents who are going through a divorce will battle over custody of their children. These disputes can be emotionally charged, causing arguments that affect both parents and their children. Though a final child custody determination is based on a child's best interests, divorcing parents should be aware that some acts can hurt their claims in such a dispute.

Social media has become commonplace in our world. Individuals going through a divorce, though, should realize that social media can harm them during their marriage dissolution. If a parent posts pictures on Facebook of his or her child doing something dangerous, for example, it may be used as evidence to show flaws in the party's parenting ability. Likewise, even if social media posts are created by the child, they may be used to show a party's inability to provide adequate oversight. Though social media can have a drastic impact on a Massachusetts Child Custody case, it is important to note that it can also affect other divorce legal issues like property division and spousal support.

When child custody is at issue, a judge will consider several factors before making a final determination. He or she may analyze each parent's financial circumstances, parenting ability, home stability, history of violence and substance abuse, and bond with the child, amongst others. Social media may be used as evidence to address any number of these factors, but sound legal argument can be used to confront any others factors that may be at issue.

Whether an individual is seeking sole custody, joint custody or visitation rights, it is often in a parent's best interest to seek legal assistance. An attorney can assess the situation and advise the party as to his or her best course of action. With regards to social media, an attorney can either use either party's posts to support his or her client's claims. Even if social media does not come into play, there is often other evidence that can be utilized to support a parent and his or her child's best interests. Then, hopefully, a favorable resolution can be reached that will leave the parent and the child happy and on the road to a better life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Divorce Mistakes You Don't Even Know You're Making," Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014

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