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Considering social media in child custody agreements

Houston, Texas, residents may be thankful about how technology brought a lot of convenience to everyday life, particularly to communication. In this field, Smartphones, email and social media help people stay connected despite the distance. It may be easier for Texas parents to share their family photographs on vacation trips, birthday celebrations or holidays with other distant relatives. However, when the parents file for divorce, social media can be a big issue.

In divorce, child custody determines which parent will live with the child. Though this may sound easy, determining child custody can be complicated, especially if both parents have different ideas about what can benefit the child. Even after the custody is settled, the custody agreement between parents can be changed if one parent believes that it may be in the best interest of the child.

According to the president of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, social media may cause trouble in divorce. Due to the fact that social media can be very accessible to anyone, a divorced father who posts pictures of his children in his Match.com profile can be a problem. Some relatives or the former partner may think that it is inappropriate. Also, any status updates and questionable photos can be used against the owner in court. The children's digital exposure can also be considered in custody settlements in divorce.

With this, parents may compromise about the ground rules of sharing information and pictures of children through social media. Both of them can work together to set privacy settings to control who can access that information. The custody agreement may also list the limitations and concerns of both parents in the matter.

Social media is a double-edged sword in divorce. This kind of advancement can bring conflict if not used properly by divorced parents. However, social media may also assist parents in how they can communicate with their children after divorce. If social media is applied positively in a parenting plan, the results may be for the benefit of all involved.

Source: Columbian, "Social media a divorce issue," Aisha Sultan, Jan. 5, 2013

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