January 01, 2019 Feature

#BestInterest

By Judge Linda Marquis and Yasnai C. Rodriguez-Zaman

Modern family court judges, tasked with making various decisions for children through the metric of best interest, are presented with exponentially more evidence than family judges reviewed just a decade ago. The Internet has created an evidentiary explosion in family courts. As access and reliance on the Internet-based services evolve, the quality and quantity of data stored relative to children simply expand. Smart devices allow parents to easily access this vault of information from anywhere. Children’s grades, attendance, and medical records are easily viewed by parents online. Parents can quickly reproduce pictures and information about their child’s daily lives throughout the years, from the archives of various social media platforms. Through text messaging and private messaging on social media, parents can reproduce years of communications regarding their children. Overnight, parents can access a treasure trove of documents, print them out, and present them to the family court.

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