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Friday, July 27, 2012
by Michael Loatman
Add a child's use of Facebook to the
list of topics dueling custodial parents might fight about. It also
might be an issue for a court's custodial decree.
Heath Caples alleged in his
custodial challenge that his daughter's maternal grandmother-who
the court said had primarily raised the child-was too lenient. The
father objected that his then nine-year-old daughter, K.C., was
permitted to have a cell phone, a Facebook account, and wear fake
The district court in the case did
not remove primary custody of K.C. from her grandmother. That
unpublished ruling was attached to a July 25 opinion by Louisiana's
intermediate appellate court affirming the ruling (Caples v.
Caples, La. Ct. App., No. 47,491-CA, 7/25/12).
The district court permitted K.C. to
keep her cell phone, but agreed with Heath that the Facebook page
should be shut down. "The Court's information is that she is too
young to qualify for one, anyway," the court said.
The appellate court's ruling noted
that K.C. lied about her age in order to create the account, which
highlights a problem faced by the social media company. Facebook
only permits those
13 or older to join, but a June 25 letter to Congress from the company noted studies showing
large numbers of younger children were already on the site.
Copyright 2012, The Bureau of
National Affairs, Inc.
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