Don’t let emotions overrule reason in child custody matters

When a New York marriage ends in divorce, the primary concern for parents involves how the rights and responsibilities of child rearing will be divided. For many, this can be a stressful and emotional time, as the realities of dividing parenting time set in. It is easy to allow one’s fears and uncertainties influence decision-making during child custody negotiations, but parents should make every effort to control their emotional response to the situation and focus on making the best possible decisions.

One way that many parents sabotage their own child custody case involves turning to social media as an outlet for their emotions. Many of us believe that what we say and do online can be made private, or can be deleted without a trace. In reality, however, there is no such thing as online “privacy,” and no way to fully retract information once it is put into the virtual realm. Social media is becoming a factor in more and more child custody cases, and parents are well-advised to understand how a momentary lapse of judgment could derail their bid for custody.

A common mistake that parents make during the course of a custody case is to vent their frustrations about the other parent on their social media pages. It is important to understand that doing so can be portrayed in court as an inability to make reasonable and tempered decisions, which can then be used to questions one’s parenting skills. In addition, parents who bash their former spouse online are often asked why they would post negative comments that their children could potentially read. This is a nearly impossible action to defend in front of a judge.

For those in New York who are preparing for a child custody battle, the best course of action is to avoid making any reference to the divorce or your soon-to-be-ex on social media sites. There is nothing wrong with taking a Facebook or Twitter hiatus during this busy time, especially when online outbursts can cause a great deal of damage. Perhaps the best way to vent one’s frustrations is the tried-and-true method that our parents used: a drink with a close friend who is willing to listen and provide support.

Source: The Huffington Post, The Divorce Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making, Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014