The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

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1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Child Custody Disputes Regarding Social Media Posts in Kendall County

Posted on in Chicago divorce attorney

aurora child custody lawyerSocial media is a valuable tool that enables people to market their businesses, promote their support groups, advocate for causes, and provide a sense of connection among family and friends who may live long distances. It also provides loved ones with accessibility to the social media user’s lifestyle, opinions, and emotions. During the COVID-19 quarantine, many depended on social media as an outlet to maintain relationships and human interaction. According to one source, as of 2021, 82 percent of the US population has a social media profile, which accounts for 223 million Americans. But with all the benefits, social media has a sordid underbelly.   

Aside from cybercrimes like doxing, hacking, and identity theft, online predators peruse the Internet to commit child sex exploitation. Posting a personal photograph of your young child in the bathtub or in a bathing suit might be an endearing snapshot to share with the child’s grandparents, but such publicly viewed photos could entice online predators like pedophiles and cyber kidnappers. It is common for many to post pictures of their children on social media. However, some parents oppose this oversharing.    

Legal action may be warranted if an ex-spouse refuses to comply with a concerned parent’s privacy wishes. A child custody attorney with knowledge about the pitfalls of social media can assist with enforcing or modifying the parenting plan.

Common Concerns Regarding Social Media 

Parents may disagree about how, when, and where children may access social media. Many parents worry about online predators contacting their child. They also realize that anything posted on the Internet remains forever and cannot be deleted or scrubbed. A parent may feel that their child’s photographs on social media can incite judgment and bullying and ultimately impair the child’s self-esteem. 

An ex-spouse posting child’s photo with a new partner or serial partners may antagonize the other parent. Or, a parent may not wish relatives, ex-in-laws, and friends to be privy to their personal life, which their child’s posted photos could infer.

Parents may also feel their ex-spouse’s social media accounts are exploitative and intrusive of the child and family’s privacy. Some parents feel that posting a child’s photos on social media infringes on the privacy rights of the child who does not have the cognition to consent.  

Petitioning the Court for a Modification 

An ex-spouse may dismiss the concerned parent's apprehensions about their child's photographs, videos, and private moment snapshots being displayed on the Internet for the world to view. Although privacy settings are not guaranteed, the offending spouse may refuse to comply with requests to implement these settings on their social media accounts. The best interest of the child is always at the forefront of every custody dispute in Illinois. If a parent feels their ex-spouse's parenting endangers, or could potentially endanger, their child, the concerned parent is justified in petitioning the court for a modification.

If not addressed in the parenting plan, a modification can dictate provisions on the parents' social media conducts to ensure their child's privacy. Currently, it is legal for a parent to post photos of their child online. It is also legal for strangers to repost those images. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA") is the only law that regards a child's privacy; however, it does not deter an offending parent from recklessly publicizing photos of their child. The rule only thwarts websites from collecting your child's data. 

Contact a Kendall County Child Custody Attorney 

At The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., assertive family law attorney Matthew M. Williams recognizes the sensitive nature of custody issues. Certified in both collaborative and cooperative law, Matthew M. Williams evaluates the circumstances of each case and strategizes for good results.  With a focus on the best interest of the child, child custody attorney Matthew M. Williams diligently advocates for agreeable solutions. If you are engaged in a custody dispute regarding social media posts of your child, contact an Aurora divorce attorney at 630-409-8184.

Sources:

https://www.theglobalstatistics.com/united-states-social-media-statistics/ 

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220323/Sharing-of-childrens-photos-on-social-media-is-linked-with-permissive-confident-parenting-styles.aspx

https://www.ftc.gov/business-guidance/privacy-security/childrens-privacy

https://www.forbes.com/sites/petersuciu/2020/06/26/there-isnt-enough-privacy-on-social-media-and-that-is-a-real-problem/?sh=7f525faa44f1

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/positively-media/201908/should-you-share-images-your-kids-online

The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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