Woman banned from blogging about family ruled constitutional


Divorce in Nevada changes many things about your life. Of course, your relationship with your spouse undergoes the most radical transformation. Your relationship with your children is also altered, to a lesser extent, in that you must now work with your former spouse from a distance to raise your children.

Your finances will change, often significantly. And there will be other changes. For instance, during your divorce, you will need to use extreme caution when posting to social media like Facebook or Twitter. Placing a post with great detail of your latest dinner date or weekend with a new "friend" could have a noticeable impact on a child custody or child support issue.

Nevertheless, we hope you won't find yourself enmeshed in a situation like that involving a woman in New Jersey. She at one point attempted to kidnap her children and take them to Canada after a poor outcome in a child custody hearing.

This resulted in her accepting a plea agreement to have a psychiatric evaluation and therapy. She had been writing online about her former spouse and children in "rambling, irrational, disturbing, bizarre" posts that also named Hitler and Satan.

She was ordered to not post about her family. But she developed a code word for them, referring to them as "Camelot" and mentioned them 161 times. She appealed the ban as a violation of the First Amendment and her free speech rights.

A New Jersey appeals court upheld the ruling, noting it was limited to her family and was designed to protect her children, should they ever find the writings.

We expect social media will likely play a growing role in many family court decisions, and while few are likely to be as extreme as this, you should always exercise care with all you do online.

Source: NJ.com, "NJ woman banned from writing about family on Facebook," Tom Wright-Piersanti/The Star-Ledger, May 18, 2014

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