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Injunction overruled in child custody case

Michigan parents who are currently struggling to resolve divorce issues about social media, particularly those pertaining to children, may be interested in a recent case in another state. It is not uncommon for co-parents whose relationship with each other is contentious to publish disparaging comments on social media pages. In fact, a man in another state had written that his ex is an “evil” person, and also launched a GoFundMe page imploring people to donate funds to help him “keep his son.”

A judge issued an injunction, barring the man from posting anything having to do with his child custody case on social media. This is commonly known as a disparagement order. A person who willfully disregards such an order could be held in contempt of court. The man’s attorney took the case to a higher court, and the judge overturned the injunction, declaring it unconstitutional and ruling that violates the right of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The court always has children’s best interests at the forefront when making child custody decisions. Judges believe it is best for children if their parents refrain from making negative comments about one another regarding a divorce proceeding. However, the appellate court judge declared that the fact that children are better off without parents publishing disparaging remarks about each other on social media does not outweigh a person’s right to free speech.

Many Michigan couples with children will divorce this year. Those who wish to keep stress levels as low as possible in child custody proceedings do well to make a combined effort to compromise and co-operate for their children’s sake. It is also a good idea to stay closely connected with an experienced family law attorney who can provide support as needed during any legal proceedings.