Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jail for Facebook Rant on Divorce


Photographer Mark Byron was so bothered by his pending divorce and child visitation issues that he blasted his soon-to-be ex-wife on his personal Facebook page.

That touched off a battle that resulted in a Hamilton County judge ordering Byron jailed for his Facebook rant – and to post on his page an apology to his wife and all of his Facebook friends or go to jail, something free speech experts found troubling.

Read more here.


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Derogatory comments on Facebook for divorcing parents are on the rise. In this case, if the father kept his Facebook comments private to small circle of friends then its probably under the category of silly actions and not something for the Court to look at. I presume the father made the comments public. I sympathize with the father because I usually write about father's rights ( but in this case, the father should just apologize and move on. Degrading the other parent doesn't belong in the public unless there are NO children. If there are no children so be it--freedom of speech. But the interest of not spoiling the child's environment seems more important and there is no overriding rationale for why the father would have to make the facebook post public. Probably the Judge should just scold the father. In California Courts, I've seen this happen and mothers get off with not even a scolding. AJ

Posted by: Adam Johnson | Mar 27, 2012 5:42:35 PM

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