How Facebook May Be Used Against You in Family Court
According to the Upper Dublin Patch, social media may be the latest weapon used against a spouse in the court of law. The law journal The Legal Intelligencer reports that instances of posts made on the popular social networking site Facebook are frequently being used as evidence and is an increasingly common occurrence in family court. The article cited a handful of examples from court cases in which the social media site became part of the proceedings. Three such examples are:
- A Norristown attorney describes an incident in which a husband created a fake Facebook page for his wife with inappropriate additions, such as racy photos and faux posts. The stunt was discovered during the case and the wife ended up being the victor in court.
- A man posted on his Facebook account that since he couldn’t punch the mother of his child, he would tape a photo of her to a punching bag. During the couple’s custody battle, the post was introduced as evidence and the mother won primary custody of the child.
- In a Pennsylvania alimony case, it was discovered that the wife was lying about her living arrangements; under state law, a party will not be entitled to alimony if he or she is living with a member of the opposite sex. The attorney was able to provide print-outs of Facebook updates and posts of the woman boasting about her relationship and new home with her new guy. The case was settled after the woman admitted to both the relationship and living situation.
Though pejorative Facebook posts and spoof accounts may be quite useful in custody cases, they may not be as valuable during divorce proceedings. However, they may end up in the official court record.
The attorneys strongly suggest staying off Facebook to avoid any potential problems.
Making the decision to end a relationship and get a divorce is extremely difficult; however, the legal matters that follow, whether it is child custody, alimony, or the division of assets, can be strenuous and very challenging as well. The knowledgeable Montgomery County family law attorney Sheryl R. Rentz is dedicated to helping families with any complicated matters that they may have and strives to reach a swift, satisfactory resolution for all parties. Call (866) 290-9292 for a no-cost consultation.