Technology can be wonderful for Illinois parents who are trying to juggle child custody. However, recent research shows that some parents may be using social media and technology in ways that can actually harm or manipulate their children. The research examined the communication habits of 49 couples, and the results suggest that those who were involved in a bitter divorce or child custody dispute tended to use technology as a weapon, by limiting access to the kids or even denying they received messages from their ex.

Technology tends to make co-parenting easier for several reasons, one of which is the ease of communication. Child custody arrangements can be quickly set up with minimal contact. Also, parents can post their children’s activity schedule using online calendars, which can allow the other parent to be in the know about what is going on in their child’s life.

However, using technology in the wrong way can be manipulative and can actually harm the parent-child relationship. Parents who deny or manipulate information can make co-parenting more difficult on everyone and cause even greater stress in the home. Utilized correctly, however, technology can even help those who may have a hostile relationship with each other. It allows short, to-the-point communication with the ability to access those records in the future, if necessary.

Using social media or other forms of technology can be used successfully to handle child custody issues that result from a divorce or separation. Everything can be tracked and referred back to in the event that there is a misunderstanding about custody arrangements. When utilizing such technology, it is important to understand that emails and text messages leave behind a written record. Holding on to these messages can be a useful tool in the event a parent later wishes to pursue a custody modification through the courts. Used correctly, technology and social media can be invaluable child custody tools for Illinois parents.

Source: NY Daily News, “Social media often used as cruel tool in divorce, with spouses putting children in the firing line” Aug. 29, 2012