Social media has become so intrinsic to people’s everyday lives that there is hardly an aspect of one’s life that is free of it in Florida or elsewhere in the country. It has become an issue in a child custody case in another state. The case involved Facebook, a mother and a judge ruling in a child custody case.
The case involved parents with shared custody of their child. The mother was looking to get sole custody and child support. This was in part due to charges of abuse by the mother against the father. The judge hearing had heard testimony but had not issued a ruling when the child’s mother sent him a friend request on Facebook and the judge accepted it. The father was not informed of this.
Facebook posts by the judge were liked by the mother in the case though the judge did not react to any of her posts. The father complained that this could cause the appearance of bias and possible influence in the case and so give the mother an unfair advantage. He requested a new hearing in front of a new judge, and the request was granted.
Divorce is never easy and can be particularly hard on children. Child custody cases are sometimes decided by the parents but when they can’t agree, the court will decide for them. It is important that the court retain the appearance of impartiality in these cases. In the event that any questions may arise, an experienced family law attorney in Florida may be able to provide valuable guidance.