Monthly Archives: November 2022

Social Media Best Practices During Divorce

Social media has quickly become a part of our lives, so much so that we hardly even realize we are engaging with it. But if you are going through a divorce, take notice. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, dating apps, etc., are all fair game for gleaning evidence against you in court.

In 2010, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers surveyed family law attorneys and found that four out of five used social media as evidence in a divorce case, with Facebook leading the pack. Almost twelve years later, that number is likely closer to five out of five.

While one cannot delete past evidence, one is encouraged to refrain from publicly engaging in social media during the divorce process. So, what exactly is your spouse and their attorney seeking to uncover? Here is evidence that can be uncovered on social media and used against you in your divorce:


Financial Data

You can no longer be so quick to post about that great new job, gig, or purchase. Hold off on those luxury beach vacay selfies. Even gourmet food pics at fancy eateries can come back to haunt you. Your ex and his or her lawyer are looking for precisely this to prove your financial health and ability to support yourself without concessions on their end. Marital assets, alimony payouts, retirement divisions, and child support obligations can all be impacted if it appears that you are doing financially well. If you have a significant other and any of your posts imply that you are sharing in his or her wealth—think extravagant vacations, shared living arrangements, large gifts such as automobiles—this can all skew a judge’s calculations as to your financial needs.


Relationship Data

Keep your relationship status private until your divorce is final. Proof that you are in a relationship can impact financial outcomes, custody arrangements, and visitation schedules. If you are in fact in a relationship, be discreet, and ask your friends not to tag you in photos.


Proof of Illegal or Immoral Behavior

Ask your friends and family not to tag you at all, anymore. Opposing counsel will seize upon any photo of you seemingly partying, drinking, or engaging in other potentially “immoral” or “untoward” behavior. This can be particularly harmful to your goals regarding custody and visitation. If a judge construes posts of you as “promiscuous,” or “irresponsible,” they may choose to limit your access to minor children and favor your co parent. Even innocuous gatherings and poses can be misrepresented or misconstrued, so the safest bet is to cease sharing, at least until the final decree is issued.

While the intensity of opposing scrutiny should wane following the final divorce decree, you will need to remain vigilant. Modifications to alimony and child related matters can still be sought by your ex. With social media interactions near constant, multi sourced, and easily accessed, it is important to know that anything you post online can be used against you in divorce court. So, be mindful of your posts, or take the divorce process as an opportunity to unplug from social media.

If you have questions about divorce, please contact TNS Family Law at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of attorneys is here to help guide you.

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How to Tell Your Kids About the Divorce

Most parents find telling their kids about the divorce one of the most difficult and anticipated parts of the process. If you and your spouse decide to divorce, you may find yourself reading articles like this one to help guide you through the conversation. 

Children are sensitive to significant life changes, like divorce. Their parents’ splitting can potentially impact their parental attachments and how they act in future romantic relationships. However, divorce can be positive for children. In many cases, divorce means the start of a more honest and authentic life for everyone involved. 

When handled appropriately, the conversation about getting a divorce can help children go through the process positively alongside you and your spouse.

Here are some tips to help tell your kids about the divorce:


Spend Time Planning

Do not wake up one morning and tell your soon-to-be-ex that you would like to tell the kids as soon as possible. Rather, tell your spouse that you would like to meet, preferably in person, to develop a plan to restructure the family in a way that would make the most sense for everyone and be in the best interest of the children. Then, carefully consider the age and developmental stage of each child. Outline and practice a script, leaving room for natural adaptations and questions. Be mindful that this moment has the potential to stick with your children for a long time. This is not to scare you, but to remind you of the importance of planning. Be sure to include your spouse in any revised thoughts or words so that they are not blind-sighted or become reactive during this critical conversation.


Maintain a Unified Front With Your Spouse

Even if this is the only aspect of the divorce you can agree upon, and even if you feel angry and betrayed by your spouse, put your resentment aside for the sake of your children and urge your ex to do the same. This can be easier to say and harder to execute. Just remember that research shows parental harmony is the single most significant arbiter of child success post-divorce.


Relay the Story With No Blame

Take the time to explain the story of how you and your spouse have come to this decision without offering too much detail, and tailor the conversation to the ages of their children. Try to be brief, but the story behind the marriage and why it is ending can help children better understand why this change is occurring. Describe the reasons for divorce from a high-level perspective and do not blame either party. This can put children in an uncomfortable position with one parent. Explain that despite the change in marital status, they will continue to be part of and loved by the same family.


Have the Conversation When the Whole Family Can Be Together Without a Rush

Leave time after the discussion for not only questions but also a “normal,” enjoyable family activity following this intense and emotional conversation. For example, you can take young children to the playground together to allow them space to relax and process their emotions. This also shows the children that their parents can continue to get along and maintain a family unit to support them as they grow up.


Explain How the Divorce Will Impact Your Children’s Routines

Your children will want to know how the divorce will change their daily lives and routines. Prepare an initial plan with your spouse to ensure your children’s lives and daily routines are impacted as little as possible. For example, if your family has traditions, like going to their grandparents every Sunday for dinner, assure them that these traditions will continue—even if one spouse may no longer be in attendance. If your children are in different life stages, consider meeting with them individually to answer questions and discuss how their lives will be impacted moving forward. Every age will require a different level of explanation and honesty.

We hope you find these tips useful. Remember, the goal is to mindfully plan for this conversation and present it as a unit to help ensure your children are happy and healthy in the long term.

If you have questions about divorce, please contact TNS Family Law at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of attorneys is here to help guide you.

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What to Do When a Child Refuses Visitation

If a child refuses to adhere to your custody agreement or decree, you should not improvise or ignore the court-ordered schedule. The court has the best interest of your child in mind and does its best to preserve the relationship between both parents and the child when creating the custodial and visitation agreements. When a child refuses visitation to a parent, the court can get involved, and a failure to comply with the schedule can have serious legal consequences.

It is also worth noting that a child’s custodial preferences are a factor when determining best interest, that preference may not outweigh the other factors to be considered. In Maryland when a child reaches 16 years of age, he or she may have their own counsel to advocate for their preference. Regardless, it is imperative to determine whether the child’s refusal is warranted or unwarranted. As a general guideline, the bar for the court to revise a visitation schedule will be high. Only when there is a material change in circumstance will a court modify an order that is in place.

When processing a divorce, it is not uncommon for children to go through various periods of alignment with one parent over the other, often for reasons having to do with their immediate desires and interests. For example, one parent might be stricter while the other is more easy going. Particularly during middle school and high school, when social expectations are highest, a child may seek to push these limits and acquire more freedom by refusing to visit with the stricter parent altogether. The court strives to prioritize fostering a deep and enduring relationship between the child and both parents over the child’s more short-sighted preferences.

The court is obliged to determine whether a warranted reason for refusal of visitation has emerged since the divorce settlement. Emotional or physical abuse, mental illness, physical disability, a dangerous or distressing environment within the home, or manipulation by one parent against the other are all valid reasons to consider altering or eliminating the existing legal visitation schedule.

The custodial parent will be held responsible for facilitating the visitation of a minor child and could be deemed in contempt of the divorce decree if they fail to do so. If your child is refusing to adhere to the visitation schedule, make sure to notify your co-parent immediately in writing and document any behaviors that ensue. The best course of action will be to put aside any hard feelings you may have for one another and work together to help your child maintain a strong bond with each parent. If a family meeting cannot rectify the situation, call upon a family lawyer or a therapist to help mediate the situation.

If your child refuses visitation, contact your family law attorney immediately to ensure you follow the law and maintain the best interests of your child. The attorneys at TNS Family Law are experienced in complex visitation matters and can advise you on how to best help your child and avoid serious legal consequences. TNS can also recommend trusted experts for both therapeutic interventions and custody evaluations.

If you need advice or representation related to divorce, please contact TNS Family Law at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of attorneys is here to help guide you.

Related Posts: 
Maryland Child Custody Laws
How to Ensure a Child-Centric Divorce
Can I Expedite a Change in Custody if I Fear My Child Is in Danger?
Can I Modify My Child Custody Agreement?
Maryland Divorce FAQs

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