I am sure most of you are reading this article because you don’t know what sadfishing is or if it is even a “thing.” Even though sadfishing is likely not a term you are familiar with, you have all seen it before. The trend behind the name “sadfishing” has been an element of social media since its inception. Sadfishing can be extremely damaging to your Sacramento divorce or child custody case.
What is Sadfishing?
Sadfishing, according to Justin McCrea, a Sacramento divorce lawyer and Sacramento child custody attorney, is a term used for the exaggeration of emotional states to elicit attention or to garnish sympathy from a targeted social media audience whether it be a public or private post or comment. Sadfishing is prominent Facebook status updates, in tweets, Instagram captions, Snapchats, and in its newest form on TikTok or whatever it’s called these days. Sadfishing is an extremely toxic pattern of behavior that uses sadness, hopelessness, and negativity to suck their audience in and gain their attention and sympathy.
How Can Sadfishing Damage my Sacramento Child Custody or Divorce Case?
You may be wondering how Sadfishing can damage your divorce or child custody case in Sacramento. Well… it likely can damage your divorce or child custody case throughout California. The family court often hears of or is presented with evidence obtained from social media. Pictures, statements, innuendos, and exaggerations can all harm your child custody and divorce case. Conflicting evidence regarding the same party will often raise the eyebrows of a California family court judge.
For example, when someone tells the court they are suffering emotionally or can’t get by on the support that they are receiving, it raises issues of credibility when social media posts contradict their claimed emotional state or need for more support.
Another example is when parents post how emotionally damaged the children are and how the other parent is so terrible and then in court documents and in the courtroom, then say the children are emotionally better off and are doing great and that further distancing them from the other parent would be in their best interest.
If I Engaged in Sadfishing, Should I Delete the Posts?
I am not a therapist, but I do know that social media is not a good forum to exaggerate your situation for the purpose of gaining attention and sympathy from others. It is something that once you post it, you really can’t take it back. People still try though. When confronted by the other party, the posting party often deletes the post. Wise or not? Not wise. Depending on whether the “evidence” is asked to be preserved, there can be serious consequences for destruction of evidence. Even when preservation is not requested or demanded, there can be serious consequences for making posts about your divorce or child custody case and then deleting them.
Seeking Help from an Experienced Child Custody and Divorce Lawyer
If you are involved in a heated divorce or child custody battle, you absolutely seek the advice and counsel of a family law attorney. You have many options as to how your child custody or divorce can be handled. Often the most affordable, is a case where the parties can come to agreements with the help of a divorce mediator. This is especially true when the parties go to a mediator that is also an attorney. The attorney can tell you both what the law is and how the courts generally resolve the disputes. They can also help you complete your documents and file them with the court. This means that neither of you must step foot in a courtroom and leave the decision making to the judge. Typically, the higher the level of conflict the more emotionally and financially draining the resolution of the case will be.