In a world of viral videos, online influencers and virtual reality, it is pretty much impossible to avoid modern technology in your everyday life. If you are divorced or in the process of a divorce, you must consider how social media and digital communication can influence behavior and outcomes.

Technology is a tool, and tools can be used for good or bad. You don’t want to hurt yourself or your family because of what you do online.

Help your case

More and more, judges are considering what is posted on social media when deciding on child custody cases. Stories about social media posts hurting the outcome of a case are sad, but not surprising.

It is easy to post freely when you are just trying to share your experiences. But when your entire life is suddenly under scrutiny, you need to be careful about what people can see. Limiting the pictures and thoughts you post is a good start, but it may be a good idea to keep your profiles private or even deactivate them during litigation.

Avoid hostile communication

After the case has ended and custody has been determined, you should not immediately begin posting negative things about the other parent. Not only can doing so potentially be used against you in future custody issues, it can harm your children, too. Older children may be active on social media and see the negativity—something that they should never be exposed to. Even younger children who are not on social media can still feel the impacts of parental animosity.

Texting, email, social media and many still-emerging technologies all have the power to improve—or hurt—the lives of children and parents alike. Parents have an obligation to use such technology responsibly.