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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Facebook pages allowed as evidence in child custody cases

People in Tennessee who are going through child custody disputes may want to be aware of a new case in the state of New York. In that matter, the judge is allowing a woman's Facebook page into evidence in her ex-husband's child custody dispute with her.

Reportedly, the woman has tried to claim that she has spent a majority of the time with the child, a statement her ex-husband disputes. It was found that the woman's Facebook profile shows her taking repeated vacations all over the world, including Italy, Boston and other destinations. The man wanted to use his ex-wife's Facebook page to prove that it was he, not she, who has served as the primary caregiver for their child for the last four years since their divorce.

Before this ruling, social media pages had not been allowed into evidence in child custody determinations. The case could potentially set a precedent for courts around the nation. As the use of social media has become almost ubiquitous nationwide, it is important that people understand that what they write on Facebook may come back to haunt them in a later court case.

Child custody decisions involve the court's consideration of a number of statutory factors, one of which is the amount of time each parent has spent providing care for the child. People who are going through a child custody dispute may want to get the advice of a family law attorney. Legal counsel might advise the client regarding the various factors that courts will take into consideration and then make recommendations regarding the use of social media during the pendency of the dispute.

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