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The importance of keeping child-custody issues private

Any Pennsylvania resident who has experienced divorce firsthand, knows that determining what happens to minor children is one of the most difficult issues to deal with. As emotions run high, divorcing parties often unleash their frustrations not only in private but also on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Although it is understandable that a parent in distress wants to share his or her thoughts about child custody negotiations, doing so on a social media site is likely to have unintended consequences.

Anything posted on the Internet stays on the Internet. A single post can be interpreted differently by different people, and increasingly what is posted is being used as evidence during divorce proceedings. For example, a parent's details about how he or she spent the day with the children can be used by the other parent as supposed evidence that his or her spouse is unfit to be a custodial parent. If a couple is in the middle of negotiations about custody, it is best to keep such issues private. Parents should instead focus on what is best for their children and not on what other people may think of their situation.

To help keep matters private, divorcing spouses can also consider a confidential settlement agreement. This type of agreement ensures that no details of the settlement will be leaked once the divorce has been finalized. A couple can also consider alternative approaches such as mediation or a collaborative law process, both of which ensure that a divorce is settled privately rather than publicly.

When making decisions about child custody, parents should always keep in mind what is best for their children. Doing so often requires parents to set aside their emotions and discuss a custody arrangement that will benefit their children most of all.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com, "Divorce confidential: the case for privacy in divorce," Caroline Choi, Nov. 8, 2014

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