Facebook a Gold Mine for Divorce Lawyers

Posted July 2, 2010 in Your Family & The Law by Arthur Buono

Here’s another good reason not to post compromising pictures or information about yourself on Facebook or Twitter. Your spouse will use it against you in divorce. One group of divorce lawyers says that 81 percent of its members have used or faced such evidence, according to an Associated Press report.

 
  • Your story and your postings must match
  • Emotional rants can hurt your case
  • Friends’ pages can hurt you too

 

Your Facebook Musings And Tweets Are Out There

First came stories of Facebook flirting and virtual affairs causing breakups and divorces. Now lawyers use social media activity as evidence in divorce cases. Judges routinely admit online information for divorce, alimony, and child custody. Status updates, tweets, and pictures prove who’s naughty or nice, and also who’s lying. Getting caught in a fib can undermine a case. Aggressive or menacing online comments can prove a parent unfit for custody. Yet many people act as though their online information doesn’t exist or won’t be found.

Social media information has won many cases. A wife proved her husband had resumed drinking, though he denied it. Pictures from a friend’s site showed him swilling beer at a party. Another husband denied having anger management issues. On his Facebook page he threatened to kick the ass of anyone who got in his face. A father listed his status as single and childless while engaged in a child custody battle.

Lawyers tell clients their testimony must match what they say online. Tips for not getting burned by online activity start with avoiding posting material altogether. Knowing and using privacy settings comes next. And policing the pages and postings of friends and others in the know for embarrassing information is a must.

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