Friendly Advice From Divorce Lawyer Nearby on Social Media and Kids
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Friendly Advice From Divorce Lawyer Nearby on Social Media and Kids

divorce lawyer nearby
Friendly Advice From Divorce Lawyer Nearby on Social Media and Kids

A common point of contention in the last decade when it comes to custody is social media. Typically, navigating what content regarding your children is shared on social media. However, a new topic of conversation when it comes to co-parenting is the child’s usage on social media. We saw this public battle over a child’s social media usage play out just a few months ago with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West and her Tik Tok account. Back in 2022, Kanye West made his opinion loud and clear that Kim Kardashian was not properly co-parenting with him because of their disagreements on whether the then 8-year-old should be making videos on Tik Tok. Kardashian argued that since she is the primary custodial parent, and monitors the account, West has no say. While we don’t know the details of their specific custody arrangement, it’s not that he has no say, it’s that she may be the final decision maker.

There are two types of custody in New York, physical and legal. Physical deals with who the child is primarily residing with, and legal deals with who makes the major life decisions of the child. If there is shared legal custody, then both parents confer with each other when it comes to major decisions such as:

  • Where should the child go to school
  • What religion, if any, they will practice
  • Medical decisions

I’m a divorce lawyer nearby, and this begs the question if a child having social media account is a major decision, and if not, who gets a say on whether or not a child can be on social media? Some landmark custody cases have put the age of 13 in the final agreement, this way there is no grey area, but some parents even think this is too young. However, many other courts have argued that this is not considered a “major life decision” sighting that “a decision involving a child’s use of social media on the internet is not a matter of the greatest importance” See J.S. ex rel. Synder v. Blue Mountain School Dist., 650 F.3d 915, 934 (3rd Cir. 2011).

In the case of West and Kardashian, it is likely that a court would prefer parents to try to come to an agreement outside of court first, as this would not be considered a major issue. Now, if the child’s safety was truly at risk that may be a different story. As long as a child is engaging in safe social media use, and a parent is monitoring it, the primary custodian would likely be “in charge.”

According to me, a divorce lawyer nearby, as recently as January 24, 2024, lawmakers in Florida passed a bill that would restrict social media usage of children under 16 years old. This would be done by requiring social media platforms to terminate the accounts of anyone under 17 years old, and use a third-party verification system to screen out the underaged. Under this law, if a parent deliberately disregarded this and allowed their child to use social media, would a parent have a legal basis to bring the other to court? Again, it would depend on the court and how they view social media. In my opinion, with the increasing usage of social media and minors, coupled with the bullying component, it is a serious concern for parents whether they are co-parenting or not.

At the end of the day and no matter your relationship with your co-parent, your children should come first. When a couple is divorcing with young children, a lot of times you only discuss “big” milestones when it comes to decision making such as choice of school. In modern times, I believe it’s best that parents put it all on the table and continue to have healthy discussions regarding the upbringing of your children, including social media usage and beyond.

Val Kleyman, Esq, is an attorney at the Kleyman Domestic Relations Law Firm and a divorce lawyer nearby Manhattan, NY, handling divorce and family law matters in New York. Val Kleyman is rated best divorce attorney New York by his peers and many other attorney rating organizations. The Kleyman Domestic Relations Law Firm is located at One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY. For more info go to https://nyc-divorcelawyer.com, email: jzelenka@kleymanfirm.com or call 631-823-7662.

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