The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Technology in Custody Battles

Often when parents become involved in custody disputes over their minor children, both parties and their attorney’s use any legal means available to help prove their case and/or assist the parties in co-parenting. As technology has evolved, it has become both a valuable tool and a destructive force available for parents and their counsel.

A good use of technology in custody disputes is when parents can utilize joint digital calendars and apps for managing children’s schedules in different households.  Online school access now allows non-custodial parents to have real time access to papers, assignments, and grades. Text messaging and email allow for almost instantaneous communications between parents for their children without the need for voice calls, which can help remove some of the potential for emotions to surface.

While emails and texts can be good, they can easily turn bad when parents fire off responses without pausing to calm down and consider their response. It enables parents still in the height of emotional conflict to continuously annoy, bother, and insult the other without face to face interaction that can sometimes deescalate situations. It also presents another way parents can deny the non-custodial parent access to the children.

Technology becomes downright ugly when parents use social media to belittle the other parents, post photos of themselves engaging in poor parenting skills, and illegally track the other party’s whereabouts.

Judges applaud parties who can show they utilize technology in positive ways to assist them in co-parenting, and likewise quick to frown upon parents who use technology as weapons against the other parent, with the children as the often true victims.

When using technology, remember to consider its impact on your children – and whether it is in their best interests.  After all, that is the test the Judge is going to consider when deciding custody.

If you have questions regarding child custody, please contact us at 804-423-1382 or for assistance.