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Social media use can affect child custody cases

Feb 21, 2019 | Family Law

These days, most people use social media in some form or another. Many people enjoy giving life updates, but there are some instances in which social media use could cause complications. In particular, when Texas residents are dealing with divorce or child custody issues, they may want to refrain from getting on social media until their issues are resolved.

It was recently reported that social media use affected a child custody case in another state. According to reports, the situation involved a judge who was assigned to a child custody case. Apparently, the mother in the case sent a friend request via social media to the judge, and he accepted. Though the judge himself apparently did not directly interact with the woman on the social media site, the father involved in the proceedings believed it may have led to a bias in their case, because the judge ruled in the mother’s favor.

While the father appealed the decisions made by the judge, which included giving the mother sole custody of their son, it was determined that the judge’s acceptance of the mother’s friend request created a risk of bias. As a result, the appeals court ruled that the custody case should be reassigned to a different judge. The ruling did not result in any solid guidelines for judges and social media use, but it did warn of caution when using such sites.

As this case shows, it is not just the parents involved who need to be careful when it comes to social media and child custody cases. However, it is still important for them to do so because their online actions could have significant impacts on the outcomes of their cases. If Texas residents have concerns over their social media use or the use of others involved in their cases, they may want to discuss those concerns with their legal counsel.