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Social media and child custody

Social media has made it so that people post a lot of information about themselves on the Internet where anyone can see it, and this can drastically impact their reputations. For example, employers have said that they use sites like this to look up people who have applied for jobs, and they have sometimes decided not to hire individuals based on the information that they find on the websites.

Those who are involved in divorce cases have said that people should be aware of how their online image may be used during a court case. This is especially important during child custody cases in North Dakota when a judge is trying to decide who should be allowed to retain custody after a divorce. The way that social media plays an important role is when the judge is trying to make a determination about what situation would be best for the child, which is the ultimate goal of the case.

An example cited was that a parent might post about how much time he or she spends going out to be with friends. The judge may look at that and wonder if the parent truly is going to spend the right amount of time with a child if he or she got custody rights.

Basically, parents are showing the judge what they are like with their social media posts, so it is important that they understand how the things that they put out there can be used in the cases. They must know that this evidence is admissible in court. People often post on social media sites without really thinking about what they are putting up. However, those who are trying to get custody of a child must think about how this online image may be taken into account when a ruling is made.

Source: The Jamestown Sun, "Social media missteps can haunt careless posters, tweeters" Jasmine Maki, Apr. 21, 2014

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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