Facebook’s Effect on Austin Child Custody Litigation
The following applies to Austin, Texas, and other areas bitten by the not so recent social media bug—meaning, just about anywhere with internet access.
With the advent of social media, society has begun chronicling their daily lives for everyone to see—including the judge looking at pictures from of your client’s Facebook page of your client doing a keg stand. Ask yourself, does my online persona reflect my parental values?
As we live in an increasingly unstable and mobile society, due in part to today’s global market and economy, custody litigation is no longer focused only on who gets to be the “primary parent” and what child support will be; an increasingly large amount of time and litigation is centered around whether the child should be restricted to a particular city, state, or country, and whether the child needs protection from international abduction.
In order to be successful in the current context of custody and family law litigation, it is important to set appropriate expectations and prepare the client for the rigors of what a custody battle could entail. Stability, ability to foster appropriately health and positive relationship with the other parent, family and social support, along with the classic issues of mental health, substance or alcohol abuse, or criminal history/family violence are all issues that need to be considered. Far an above, make sure to discuss these thing in particular in the context of a custody matter in which children with special needs are involved; as special consideration must be brought to bear in a circumstance involving special needs children. These kinds of issues are mainstays in today’s custody litigation, and provide many pitfalls for the unwary practitioner.
However, litigation, is not the only required course. In fact, litigation should be considered as only one of many routes to take in achieving your client’s custody goals. It is often a source of frustration for me that many of my colleagues get locked into the same thought process over and over and are unable to be creative and think outside of the box. Judges appreciate creativity, solution oriented attorneys who come to court not only prepared for litigation but offering solutions. While it may seem counterintuitive, often times the most litigious party gets snake bit in the end. So, be creative in your motions, your pre-trial and pre-hearing practice all the while keeping in mind how to achieve your client’s goals.
Evans Family Law Group
Evans Family Law is a group of attorneys in Austin, TX, dedicated to child custody, child support, and divorce litigation. Speak with an Austin family lawyer today.