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I am seeing a very bizarre predicament wherein an evaluator is relying on a parent's Facebook page to determine the "happiness" of children at that parent's home for custody purposes. This is very peculiar given current news articles and patterns that show that this should not be an acceptable practice and how essentially all of social networking is just an enactment of what people would like others to perceive.

How can I demonstrate that this is an extremely suspect practice from more official sources? Any thoughts on helping authorities to understand that such a practice is unacceptable and demonstrates poor judgement, etc. would be very much appreciated.

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Seems to me that this sort of evidence should be excluded as hearsay. In fact I'd be shocked if a judge would accept any out of court statement by a parent as an indication on a child's emotional state, much less one as dubious as a Facebook post. But what do I know about family court.

\rant

That said, there is some jurisprudence offering guidance in the area of damage determination. Namely that Facebook posts are not admissible to show a person's emotional state.

The fact that an individual may express some degree of joy, happiness, or sociability on certain occasions sheds little light on the issue of whether he or she is actually suffering emotional distress.

I'm on a mobile device so I can't flesh out this answer more but the above quote is from a case - Giacchetto v School District. It contains some opposing viewpoints also. The discussion is about first person social media postings but should more so apply to these second party statements.

http://www.technologylawsource.com/files/2013/06/Giacchetto-v-Patchogue-MedfordUnion.pdf Section (B)(1) on page 4.

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Hire an expert witness who will testify to that effect.

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  • This is for the expert that was hired for this purpose. I need some educational and support information in this regard prior to moving any further with this.
    – ylluminate
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 0:15
  • Hire a better expert than they do.
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 0:16
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    More specifically, their expert is I guess a social worker. You need to hire a social media expert, preferably a university professor, who can debunk the evidence the social worker used in drawing their conclusions.
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 0:17
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"friend of the court?" Judges HATE that people vote against them in the public forums...maybe you leverage the judge in this...get the judge to repudiate testimony from the "madding crowd" of social media...the defacto "hanging jury."

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