Social networks prime source for divorce evidence PDF Print E-mail

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81% of its members have used or faced evidence from social networks in divorce cases over the last five years.

66% of the group of 1,600 lawyers agreed that Facebook is the key provider of online evidence, 15% used or faced evidence from MySpace and only 5% had to deal with tweets in court.

"This sort of evidence has gone from nothing to a large percentage of my cases coming in, and it's pretty darn easy," says the academy's vice-president elect, Linda Lea Viken, "It's like, 'Are you kidding me?'"

Some examples include a husband declaring himself childless, while seeking custody of the child; a wife denying taking drugs, but posting pictures of herself and friends smoking pot; and a mother arguing that she spent time with her children, while online logs show she was in fact on Farmville at the time in question.

"You're finding information that you just never get in the normal discovery process — ever," says Leslie Matthews, a US divorce attorney, "People are just blabbing things all over Facebook. People don't yet quite connect what they're saying in their divorce cases is completely different from what they're saying on Facebook. It doesn't even occur to them that they'd be found out."

Since you can't really fake a Facebook page, Judges accept them as evidence. Just another reason to be careful about what you say, who you add as friends and what your privacy settings are.

Source: Yahoo! News

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written by OS GIKEN, June 29, 2010

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