Last week a judge in Bucks County, PA required a father to take down a blog under threat of incarceration and/or risking losing custody of his children.
The blog, ThePsychoExWife.com (which is currently down), was created in 2007 to attract others going through difficult divorces and custody situations – offering support and information via forums, news, and articles. A portion of the site IS dedicated to telling a story, based on true events, regarding a very contentious divorce and custody battle with the father’s ex-wife. But the father claims no ownership of the blog.
Judge Diana E. Gibbons issued the following order:
Father shall take down that website and shall never on any public media make any reference to the mother at all, nor any reference to the relationship between mother and children, nor any reference to his children other than “happy birthday” or other significant school events.
The father – who chose to remain, and continues to remain, anonymous through the entire process so as not to involve his children – plans to file an appeal on the grounds that his civil rights (including the 1st Amendment) have been violated. And the results of this appeal will be crucial to the future of parenting, divorces, custody, and children. It could impact your social media usage as a parent – pictures, Twitter updates, blog posts, everything.
Whether or not you agree with the father telling the particular stories on the blog, this does bring up a larger issue of what you can and cannot post on social media sites and forums.
As Save ThePsychoExWife.com says: We must win this appeal in order to protect our freedom of speech – just because you are divorced doesn’t mean you give up your civil rights … We must stand up to this violation of the First Amendment. We must protect our freedom of speech and not allow family judges to use our rights against us when deciding custody.
You can learn more, read the judge’s orders, and offer your help at Save ThePsychoExWife.com.