The world of technology has opened up many doors of opportunity, whether for business or personal purposes. With every gift, however, comes a downfall, and for one Texas mother, her use of Facebook has come back to blow up in her face. Her ex used evidence from the social media site as a way to convince a judge that the mother was unfit to parent.
According to Dallas sources, a couple’s divorce led to a grueling custody battle over their son. Now five years old, the son will be under the primary custody of his father due to incriminating information about the mother that was posted on Facebook. What is important for everyone to remember is that items posted on social networking sites are not private, and they do not disappear. What is shared, therefore, is fair game in legal circumstances.
In the case of the Park Cities couple who was fighting over the well-being of their son, the father’s suspicion about his ex-wife’s behavior and general life choices drove him to refer to Facebook in order to determine whether his suspicions were warranted. He found various pictures of his ex with friends that portrayed her as an irresponsible choice for primary parent.
After viewing the images of the mother engaging with another woman in a sexual manner, her new boyfriend posing with a deadly weapon and others, the Texas judge presiding over the child custody case saw it in the best interest of the child to award primary custody to the father. The last straw that supported the judge’s decision was when the mother failed a drug test.
This case’s use of social media is not unique and provides a pertinent lesson. Think about what you and your friends are posting on the internet and how shared information represents you as a parent, spouse and overall person. And for those who are worried about your children because you believe your ex is an unfit parent, use social networking sites to your advantage and contact your attorney with any supporting evidence you find online. It could make the difference in your child custody case.
The 33 KDAF-TV: “Edgy Facebook postings play a role in child custody case, attorneys say,” Dawn Tongish, 22 Oct. 2010