Family Law, Juvenile Law, Communication, Trasnparency, Divorce, Children, Posting Online, Social Media, Criminal Law, Visitation, Custody.

What To Do When… You Are A Parent Posting Online.

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WTDW Podcast | Episode 59: What To Do When… You Are A Parent Posting Online.

What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:29

Hey, welcome back to Critzer Cardani podcast here in Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie.

Scott Cardani 0:34

I’m Scott, what’s on the docket for today Jackie?

Jackie Critzer 0:38
Well, What To Do When… You’re a Parent and You’re Posting Online.

Scott Cardani 0:43
Oh, we just covered last time about just posting in general. Now, we’re gonna add a layer. What about being a parent? Does it matter? Does that change the dynamic at all?

Jackie Critzer 0:55
Well, so here’s part of the problem, right? When it’ll say we’re in a custody case, because it all comes down to that. If we’re if we’re talking about parents and parents getting in trouble, it’s going to come down to pretty much being a topic about whether it impacts custody.

Scott Cardani 1:08
That includes social services, taking your children.

Jackie Critzer 1:10
Oh, for sure. So – if you are concerned that something you’re posting, maybe you’re doing drugs, I mean, people do stupid things like that drinking and driving, they take pictures of themselves videos of themselves on Snapchat, you know, drinking along neck driving on the interstate? Does it have an impact on custody? And the answer is, absolutely, it can have an impact on custody.

Scott Cardani 1:36
Absolutely. And folks, again, we ended the last date when saying when you’re gonna post something, or you’re thinking about making a video, always remember to go Why am I making this video? And is this a good idea? And again, as we said before, the answer is always no. But I can think of too many times that asked for, for bad stuff, obviously, making instructional video or when your life out there and saying, Hey, I’m having a happy life. That’s not a problem…. But.

Jackie Critzer 1:36
There is a difference between recording you doing something illegal and add, and then you versus you recording something that’s immoral. Right? Because our courts technically aren’t the moral police. They’re not. They’re not trying to regulate morality, even though we want them to.

Scott Cardani 2:19
Exactly which I don’t agree with. But it’s gotten more and more away from and that’s one of the things one of the future topics, we’re gonna talk about modeling and how that affects but, you know, here we are, again, say, Let’s take something even simpler. I see this all the time in custody cases where one of the parents were like, posting about their mental health.

Jackie Critzer 2:40
Oh, yes, yes.

Scott Cardani 2:41
Yeah, I want to kill myself. I feel so depressed. My children are driving me nuts. How do you think that plays in a custody case?

Jackie Critzer 2:47
“I’m so glad they’re in bed now I can throw back and drink and drink.” And I mean, it like you would not believe the things people post that turn around and bite him in the butt because we get a hold of it. And we use it against him in court.

Scott Cardani 2:59
And we were talking about this topic last time, and I probably shouldn’t transition to it. But I do think it’s important. We got this case in Virginia, where this I think she’s like, delegate….

Jackie Critzer 3:09
Or running for political office somewhere.

Scott Cardani 3:12
But anyways, you know, she posted online that got out there and her candidacy is, you know, up in the air or whatever. I don’t even know, I’m not getting into that. But my point is… understanding she has has two small children.

Jackie Critzer 3:24
That’s my understanding as well.

Scott Cardani 3:25
So that becomes a huge question. How does that is? You know, there’s a lot of stuff in the articles about people coming over and things like that. How does that affect Jackie? Would that affect your custody?

Jackie Critzer 3:39
You know, I think the better question is, I mean, what if, what if she and her husband, separate facts scenario, this is not anybody, this is not a real person. Let’s just examine this under a hypothetical you’ve got a husband wife, no intention of separating happily married, they have young children or a young child. And they have this sort of same behavior has been exposed where they have recorded themselves, if they’ve posted them their own pornographic videos online somewhere. They’ve been further disseminated and further exposed, is that putting them in jeopardy of losing their children? And of course, I can’t say straight off. Yes, of course. That’s Yes. No, the answer isn’t just that it’s just not that straightforward. The the better question is, is there, is there neglect? Is there abuse? Is it what happens if that’s going on? Can CPS get involved? And the question is, will it just depends on how egregious the behavior is, right?

Scott Cardani 4:39
Remember, they’re not looking for how it affects you. They’re looking at how it’s gonna affect that child and what the impact on that child is. For instance, is having men coming to your house to perform sexual…

Jackie Critzer 4:53
Or women…

Scott Cardani 4:54
when your children are home? Does that put your children at risk? My personal opinion, absolutely.

Jackie Critzer 5:02

Scott Cardani 5:04
And I’ll say this, like I said, you practice a long time in this thing, you see the ugly society, you see the things that happen. There are a lot of people out there who have relationships with adults to get at their children. That’s their whole purpose. Their purpose has nothing to do with the adult, consensual sex, it is about being a predator. So, you know, those things to me are always out, you know, when one in four kids have been molested, as average and some of the statistics say, this is not something like it’s an anomaly. It’s not like it’s doesn’t happen. So, you know, when social services or anybody steps in where you’re the other parent and you find out, this is going on, you know, how does that affect and then you get into what your kids know about what’s going on in your house. And how that modeling how that behavior affects their behavior. Are they opened up to that relationship that intimacy way too early. And I will tell you that the guys who do psychosexual and things like that always talk about that I’ve had very several conversations with them talking about what does a kid supposed to do when he’s exposed to experience and that information before he’s ready, and it creates an openness and starts to open them up, and then he has no proper expression for that. And then that’s how it gets perverted so often, so I’m probably making a lot of people mad out there. But, you know, these are things that concern me. And these are things that Jack and I want to talk about is like, Okay, we do these things, but we often don’t think how they affect our children, somebody else’s children. And then they, like I said, we see him all the time come up in custody cases. So when you’re posting, and you’re going like, I are making a video, I mean, I had a case years ago. And, you know, the parents thought they did something private, the kids found it, you know, and that happens all the time. People go all that never happened to me. You know…

Jackie Critzer 7:06
It does happen.

Scott Cardani 7:07
Like she was saying in an earlier video, iCloud or your, your online support system, captures that and sends it back for some reason, because I don’t know, these things happen all the time. And then like all of a sudden, your kids at the breakfast table eating, eating breakfast thinking he’s playing some video game and all sudden he’s watching something we shouldn’t watch and or we leave something on in the room. You know, that shouldn’t be on it. We’re you know, so it’s all that stuff.

Jackie Critzer 7:34
But does it impact custody? Does it impact your parenting? Does it? Does it shine a light on? Is he CPS gonna get involved? And I would I would say the first the first step in the analysis is, well, are you recording yourself doing something illegal? Drugs are illegal, except for marijuana in Virginia not talking about that. Around your children bad idea? Is it? Does it deal with prostitution? Does your video deal with prostitution, that’s still illegal in Virginia. Um, so if it if your video includes something that you’re doing, that is illegal, and your children are present, or maybe even if they’re not present, and it’s illegal, I think that’s opening yourself up to potential investigation.

Scott Cardani 8:17
I do and and then you take the next step, the next iteration is, are you doing something that’s I don’t say moral, but just something that could have a bad effect. For instance, you have a healthy relationship, and you’re filming each other, you know, and if children get a hold of that, you can’t tell me that’s not going to have an impact depending on how it affects the kids. So, you know, those things are all you know, hey, you know, I just can’t get enough of how we’ve been numbed into this effect that we can do these things, and they have no consequence. And you and I see the consequence, every day there are people out there, get away that years and months and decades and never have a problem, I get it. And probably I would say the majority of society has no problem with it. But when it’s you and it becomes your problem, it’s usually a pretty big problem and Jackie and I have had many cases in a custody case where those things come out and they’re very, very difficult to deal with.

Jackie Critzer 8:18
They are difficult to deal with in regulating morality and regulating your parenting time. Whether it’s an immoral or illegal activity, that you’re dead to rights you you’ve recorded it yourself. It just makes our job… depending on which side of the case we’re on either really hard or quite easy. So the entire point today is Be wise. And if you’re going to record yourself, maybe you know, consider what ramifications there could be if your children got a hold of the video if your employer got a hold of the video if your church members got a hold of the video, it just be reasonable and consider that the audience that you intend to have may not be the audience that actually sees what it is you’re recording.

Scott Cardani 10:08
And again, point takeaway 2. If I’m going to post something slow down enough to say, Why am I doing this? What’s my purpose? What’s my content? What am I doing here? And is this a good idea? And I think if you slow down and do that matrix all the time, you know, it’s like we, it just, at least makes you have a good decision instead of a bad decision. Some people make the bad decision regardless, and I know that. But for most of us, we, if we can slow down our little thought process, I’m gonna videotape this right? You know, and say, we know is that a good idea? Maybe not. Maybe I won’t post it. So all those things, we just want to you to know that the world we’re naive if we think the world hides these things, they don’t these things come out all the time. They’re always a problem. They’re never good.

Jackie Critzer 10:52
They are often normalized, when it’s for their purpose and demonized when they want it to be. Right? The the Oh, please do this on the one hand, and then use it against you and weaponize against you on the other is just, I mean, that’s that’s fish in a barrel. That’s an easy way to get you to maybe cross a boundary that you ordinarily wouldn’t so consider it. We’re here to help. We’re always here to help if you find yourself in a situation where you’re a victim of being recorded without your knowledge or if you have found that somebody has taken a recording of yours and done something with it. We that published it in some way, or threatened you or harass you or is trying to coerce you or blackmail you get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do. You can reach us at [email protected] or 804-793-8010.

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What To Do When… Outro 11:56

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

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We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!