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Parents seeking child custody see social media backlash

The advent of smartphones and social media has allowed people to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues at anytime and almost anywhere in the world. Although this may have revolutionized the way many Denver residents choose to communicate, the proliferation of this technology can also carry serious consequences in the realm of family law.

When couples can't come to terms during child custody negotiations, they will likely have to work out their conflict through mediation or in court. Knowing that this process can be very emotional, one parent may decide use available evidence to show that the other is unfit to maintain custody. As such, Facebook posts, tweets and emails can all be used to gain leverage in these proceedings.

According to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, over 80 percent of divorce cases today involve some sort of evidence gathered from a social media platform. Furthermore, more than one in four divorces include social media content used to hurt or damage a soon-to-be ex-spouse's reputation.

This is exactly why it's important for parents going through divorce to be mindful of the things they say and share with others on the Internet. An email rant about how awful the other spouse may undermine a person's claim for custody. Additionally, photos posted on any social media site could be construed to make a person look like an irresponsible parent.

Colorado family law provides that child custody arrangements are made with the best interests of the kids in mind. As a result, social media content taken out of context or something written in the heat of the moment can end up doing more harm than good to parents and children. This is one reason why it may be beneficial for parents to do their best to set aside differences in order to make an arrangement that will truly provide the best environment for their kids.

Source: The Washington Times, "Email, texting can become a WMD during a divorce or custody case," Myra Fleischer, April 23, 2013

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