Social Media Best Practices For Divorced Parents And Their Children
Andrew and Michelle were divorced last year in a very painful and public break-up. Throughout the separation, Michelle would post about how she was feeling or what she was going through on her Facebook account, much to Andrew’s chagrin. She would also post daily photos of their two kids, Samantha and Alan, on Facebook and Instagram, whether it was a new outfit they were wearing, waiting in the line to get ice cream or picking them up from school. Last year Michelle’s identity was hacked and personally identifiable information leaked out. Andrew pleaded with Michelle to exercise caution on the internet and refrain from posting photos of their kids too much. Michelle exclaimed that Andrew was being ridiculous and there is nothing wrong with sharing photos. Now that they are divorced, Andrew feels powerless and that his children’s privacy is violated every time Michelle posts. Is there anything he can do?
Social Media Guidelines for Divorced Families
One of the best practices for social media use is to check with the other parent before posting. Maybe you and your shared children just went on summer vacation and you want to share photos of the trip with your friends and extended family. It seems harmless, but everyone has a different philosophy about posting photos of minors on social media before they can express consent. It is also common knowledge that unsavory people monitor social media accounts for unscrupulous purposes like identity theft or worse. So if you know your ex prefers you to keep posting to a minimum, just ask first. Consider texting photos to a relative or emailing photos as an attachment instead of publicly posting. Think about how your child will view themselves years later and whether they would suffer shame or embarrassment over something you posted of them as a small child or toddler.
Challenging the Status Quo
It is not uncommon for divorced parents to disagree about parenting methods they may have previously not fought over. This ranges from choosing the appropriate bedtime, to what extracurricular activities the child should be involved in, to how often a parent should post on social media, or when it is appropriate for the child to make their own account. If you are still in the midst of a divorce and have social media concerns, bring it up and have a provision added to your parenting plan. If it has been months or years since your divorce was finalized, you can still petition for the plan to be modified if your ex refuses to engage with you and you believe your child’s social media presence is not in their best interest.
Contact the Tampa Family Law Attorneys at Bubley & Bubley Today
Divorce is hard for everyone. However, it can be compounded when a family’s life is examined under the lens of the social media microscope. Not everyone in your life, especially acquaintances or people you have never met, are entitled to the intimate details of your life and relationships. And if you have minor children, you want to ensure you are protecting their privacy and dignity before you think it would be funny or cute to post something embarrassing. It can be especially difficult if you and your ex have different expectations for what is appropriate. If you need assistance navigating this issue with your co-parent, contact our Tampa family law attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. With decades of experience handling family law cases, we would be honored to serve you. Call today to schedule a consultation.