Divorce can be very hard for couples, especially when children are involved. Learning how to co-parent and fighting over custody is most likely one of the most stressful things you and your children will ever go through. During times like this, we all need a way to vent and get our anger and frustrated feelings out.
However, it is best if you refrain from doing this online as it can lead you to having a serious conversation with a judge. Below, we will explain the specifics of what you should not do online when co-parenting with an ex-spouse.
Do not make threats, stalk, or argue online
It is common for people to get mad when going through divorce or custody disputes. However, you should never go on your social media and make a post threatening your ex-spouse or use abusive language toward them in an email or message. If you do, this can be saved and shown to a judge.
In addition, you cannot stalk your ex-spouse online. It does not matter if he or she has the children at this time, you cannot go online and try to find out their every move. If they find out that you are doing this, they can block you and let the judge know that you are stalking them.
Do not post anything about keeping your child from their other parent online
If you are going through a custody battle or the judge has given you and your ex-spouse joint custody or visitations, you cannot go online and post on social media that you are not going to allow your ex-spouse to see or visit with your children.
We know that arguments arise causing people to have thoughts of not allowing their children to see their other parent, but you should never post this online or even message them to let them know that you are keeping the children from them. This will raise a red flag as the judge usually requires both parents to make an effort and allow the children to have a relationship with their other parent as long as it is safe.
Do not post anything illegal or dangerous online
If you post anything illegal or dangerous online, your ex-spouse or others may see it and alert the court of your posts. This can affect your custody case and jeopardize your chances of getting joint custody, full custody, or visitations with your children. Some examples of this behavior include doing drugs, consuming large amounts of alcohol, breaking into homes or stores, stealing, and more. No matter how many followers or likes you want on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, it is not worth losing your children over.
Do not criticize your ex-spouse online
Even though you do not like your ex-spouse or something they have done at this moment, you should never criticize them on social media, messenger, or email. They can print this information out and show it to a judge as evidence. This may negatively impact your case as a judge will not want to give any type of custody to a parent who criticizes or uses abusive language toward their ex-spouse, who is also the other parent of their children.
What to do if your ex-spouse is harassing or threatening you online
If you see that your ex-spouse is harassing or threatening you online, you may have the urge to fight back or retaliate. This is normal human behavior, but our Maryville lawyers at Shepherd & Long suggest that you do not act on impulse, as this will only make things worse.
The best thing to do is to not respond. We know that this can sometimes make people angrier, but it is best to not indulge in an ineffective conversation. Instead, if you feel like the messages or posts are a threat or that you or your children are in danger, you should contact an attorney at your earliest convenience as well as law enforcement.
If someone tells you that your ex-spouse is posting or spreading rumors about you, the best piece of advice we can give you is to ignore it and brush it off. You can also delete the ex from your friend list or block them to ensure that you can no longer see their posts or messages. Some people often choose to go the extra mile and delete their entire social media as this prevents them from becoming curious and looking at their ex-spouse’s posts.
Once you have spoken with an attorney and law enforcement, you may feel safe to return to social media again. However, the most important thing that you should be concerned about is protecting your children as well as yourself from future toxic and unhealthy behaviors.
We know that it can be difficult to cut off communication 100% as you still need to co-parent with this person. However, you can set clear boundaries, such as when you will communicate, how you will communicate, and what you will not tolerate or listen to going forward. It is strongly recommended to write this information down and keep a copy as it can serve as written documentation of the boundaries you have established.
If your ex-spouse is using social media or other online tools to make threats or post negative things about you online, Shepherd & Long is here to assist you through this. We know that divorce can come with anger, stress, and frustrations, and many times ex-spouses say hurtful things or spread misinformation about each other. However, when things are taken too far and a parent or their child feels like they may be in danger, it is completely unacceptable. This is where our attorneys come in to help you determine how you can limit communication, while also ensuring that you do not affect your child custody rules.
To get started, please call our Maryville family lawyers or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you, hearing about your experience, and helping you get the legal assistance you need.