Social Media and the Family Court

1. How does social media websites effect a divorce case?

Over the last five years or so, evidence from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs and other social media has been used in all types of family law cases. Social media evidence is now routinely used in divorce cases, alimony reduction/Lepis hearings, child support hearings, and child custody visitation disputes. Sometimes the evidence obtained from social media websites can be critically important. In other cases it is just nonsense and a waste of time. One of the most important parts of family law is what is the person’s lifestyle. Social media can be used to establish a person’s spending habits, any irresponsible behavior by a parent, or the failure of a party to make a good faith effort to find a job.

How you conduct yourself on social media websites can very often hurt your family law case. Many New Jersey divorce lawyers are net-savvy, and they will search your Facebook status or other social media sites to try to obtain evidence in your case. Social media evidence is often used in visitation and child custody cases. Social media evidence is most commonly used to try to make one spouse look bad, reckless, or stupid. Therefore, if you are in the middle of a nasty custody battle, or if your ex-spouse is suffering from the parental alienation syndrome (PAS), then you should refrain from using social media websites altogether. If you post any material that is questionable, then rest assured your ex-spouse will retrieve and try to use it against you. Why waste more money on legal fees to contest social media evidence?

Lawyers are now more than ever using the social media websites as evidence in all types of family law cases. When people are typing on their computer, and no one is watching them, they have a false-sense of anonymity when none really exists. However, in reality you are posting your private life to the entire cyberworld.

The use of social media is a very hot topic in family law now. In years past the hot topic was on warring spouses stealing each other’s computer information and hacking into each other e-mail accounts. However, this topic is now pase. Did your husband’s new girlfriend post a new Twitter about just receiving a new gold necklace from him? The court could consider this type of gift to constitute the dissipation of marital assets. Did your wife inform the court that she has absolutely no work skills and she can’t find a job. However, her LinkedIn profile indicates that she has many job skills, and that she is now pursuing many different types of interviews and jobs.

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