By Stefani Boutelier of Mama Genericana
Last week Danielle and Jack Berbon finalized their divorce. They had been married for eight years and have two children together. Danielle has been granted full custody of the kids, while the exes have been awarded split custody of their Facebook account.
“That account has our children’s timeline, our adventures, and our pictures,” stated Mrs. Berbon. “I wanted to keep it for our kids. When they grow up, it will be a great online memory box.”
During their mediation session, they had difficulty coming to agreement about who would keep the social media account. Hours were spent arguing over this issue (yes, hours). The divorce attorneys had no comment, but it is believed the clients were adamant in refusing to delete the account.
“I didn’t want to have to find friends with a new account, nor did I want our kids to forget the happy times with their parents,” Mr. Berbon was overheard saying. “Plus our profile name is classic. Jack Danielle Berbon. That was always a great joke in our circle of friends.”
Friends of the couple also explained, when they met the Berbons (in the real world), the couple said people could find them together on Facebook and that they believed this was a sign of relational longitude.
The Berbons’ cause for divorce was “Uncontested Technological Differences,” a new statute in California divorce proceedings. Jack Berbon claimed his ex-wife was constantly on her phone or iPad. She apparently had separate, and very active, accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Reviews, Linkedin, RSS feeds, Etsy, and, somehow, was even able to access her MySpace profile. He claims she rarely made eye contact with him or the kids.
Danielle was granted full custody of her children. She claimed this was due to her trolling, searching, and reading up on how to be a better parent. “I was always looking out for the best recipes, kid activities, and lists online,” she said.
Mrs. Berbon complained that her ex-husband carried his phone more than he carried the kids. He would use it in the bathroom and keep it next to him at dinner. She also filed a complaint that he played video games every night and their sexual relations were ignored because devices took precedent in their relationship.
The youngest Berbon son is in speech therapy because he watched hours of daily television as an infant and interacted with an iPad more than humans. He is expected to recover.
The rules regarding shared custody of their Facebook account have set a precedent for the future:
- The couple is to trade off usage, every other week.
- They cannot befriend anyone new, specifically their own individual accounts, nor can they “like” any more pages. The page is to stay static at its friend count, groups, etc.
- They can only post pictures, or events, involving the children.
- They cannot delete previous postings or current postings.
- If one party does not follow the above specifications, they will lose custodial rights to the account and be unfriended from the account. Zero tolerance.
The court and judge are still coming to an agreement about the Facebook profile name. The couple appealed the initial judgement of changing it to include the kids’ names. The legality of the name, and inappropriateness of the reference related to the children, is still in mediation.
Will split custody of Facebook accounts be the new trend? Or will couples finally begin to identify as individuals? We’ll keep you posted.
About the Author
Stefani Boutelier is a mother, writer, and educator who is rearing her children with the greatest sense of humor and an open mind. You can find her at www.mamagenericana.com, @stefboutelier, or www.facebook.com/sboutelier