divorce and technologyTechnology is constantly evolving and changing our lives. The days of relying on communication delivered through the U.S. Postal Service are long gone – though I still love a holiday card or an unexpected postcard from a traveling friend. Many people have lived through the technical communication evolution that has included digital platforms such as Friendster, Myspace, Facebook, Instagram, and now Threads and X. Access and ease of use continue to improve, but these platforms bring both positive and negative experiences and uses. Have you ever not liked a friend’s photos, causing them to get mad? Have you come across a group of friends at lunch without you? Have you seen your ex living their best Instagram life when they told you they were too sick to watch the kids? Relationships have felt the brunt of these emotional triggers.

Research shows that technology has played an increased role in the growing number of divorces due to spending too much time texting, consuming various types of media content, becoming more isolated and detached from the relationship, and at times being negatively influenced by false or exaggerated news. 

Navigating Technology and Custody Battles

Technology can provide valuable tools for communication, like keeping up with high school friends or staying in contact with children to ensure they are okay. It can also help with communication and co-parenting to ensure a continued connection with your family, safety, and even help with evidence gathering in custody disputes. As with every legal issue, the court will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody; parents must be mindful of how their actions and technology usage can impact their child’s well-being during custody battles.

Harnessing Technology for Stronger Parent-Child Relationships

In busy lives, made busier by divorce, technology can help with communication between former spouses and their children when they are living apart. Video calls, instant messaging, and texting can help maintain regular contact and continue to strengthen the parent-child bond in this “new normal” of living apart. In some cases, technology can also be used to establish virtual visitation rights, allowing the non-custodial parent to spend time with the child through video calls or virtual activities, which can be especially useful for parents who live far away from their children or have limited visitation rights.

Impact of Technology on Parenting Styles and Online Behavior

Not only have relationships between parents and their children been impacted by the ways they communicate, but technology has also influenced parenting styles, with some parents becoming more conscious of their online presence and behavior due to potential repercussions in custody battles. Courts may consider a parent’s online activity when making custody decisions, especially if it involves inappropriate content or questionable behavior. A picture is worth a thousand words – the online photo of a weekend trip with your friends that once was a badge of honor, may now reflect poorly on you in a court of law and be used to question your ability to safely look after your children. In addition to social media photo evidence, text messages, emails, and other digital communication can be used as evidence to support a parent’s case in court. So be aware of what and how you communicate to your friends, your children, and the court.

coparenting tech toolsTech Tools for Co-Parenting Success

There are many ways that technology can make communication easier and more amicable between you and your ex. There are numerous co-parenting apps available, such as WeParent, Cozi, and FamCal, that help parents coordinate schedules, share important information about the child, and track expenses related to childcare. If you find it difficult to have a conversation with your ex without deep-rooted emotions and the hurt of the broken relationship coming into each exchange, these apps can foster better communication and organization between co-parents. If co-parenting continues to be an issue there are also online mediation and dispute resolution services, making it more convenient for divorced parents to address custody issues without having to meet physically. This method of digital mediation can save time and money and can be a less confrontational option for resolving conflicts.

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Technology

While technology can provide significant benefits and convenience, it is important to apply caution. It’s always best for divorcing parents to consult with legal professionals who specialize in family law and stay informed about the relevant laws and regulations in their jurisdiction. Technology brings pros and cons, so be aware of the risks and rewards and act accordingly.  


Rebecca L. Palmer, Esq. is a Family & Marital Law attorney practicing in Orlando, FL. She can be reached at rebecca@rlplawgroup.com.