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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.

    Partner

    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy

    Partner

    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros

    Partner

    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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How Social Media can Harm Your Child Custody Case

Custody5

It’s generally recommended that people going through a divorce keep a very low profile on social media, as your prior posts can come back to haunt you, and your new posts could jeopardize your chances of a favorable outcome. In addition, your social media posts and behavior could work against you if you are in a custody battle.

Here are several ways that social media can negatively impact your child custody case.

Help Prove Adultery

Virginia looks at adultery in divorce, and it may carry over in your child custody case too. Adultery is classified as a Class 4 misdemeanor under Virginia Code Section 18.2-365. Your ex may allege this new relationship started while you were still married. If there are inappropriate messages between you and your new love interest, it could be the “clear and convincing” evidence needed to show you were having sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse while still legally married.

Photos Portraying a Party Lifestyle

Is your social media filled with photos of you with a drink in hand dancing on the bar at a local club? If there are any questionable photos of yourself online, you can bet the other side will have those blown up for the judge to see. If you are telling the court you stay home a lot and never drink, but your social media seems to indicate you’re at a new club every weekend and drinking a lot, the judge may consider this as evidence against you. Even worse is if the photos show you were out at a bar on a night that you had custody of your children. While of course parents have every right to have a life and enjoy themselves, custody battles require parents to sometimes alter their normal conduct.

Other Inappropriate Photos and Posts

Posting any sexually provocative photos or sexually suggestive posts could be frowned upon by your family court judge. Sending naked photos to another party through electronic means like social media could play against you.

Don’t Create a Dating Profile

While it’s tempting to start a dating profile since you’re about to be free agent, starting a dating profile could send the message to the judge that you are more committed to finding a new relationship than getting custody of your child/children.

Watch the Flashy Posts and Photos

Skip the lavish vacation photos and fancy car poses, even if someone else is footing the bill. If you’re asking for child support, or currently arguing over the amount, photos of you gallivanting around the globe can be used by your ex to show reason why you do not need any additional child support.

Retaining a Virginia Child Custody Attorney

If you are preparing for a child custody case, or you’re already in the middle of an adversarial battle, you need a skilled Virginia child custody attorney. Contact the team of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy, PC. Our firm has decades of experience with divorce and child custody matters. You can communicate with us directly from our website or call our office at 703-997-4982.

Resource:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter8/section18.2-365/

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