Impact of Social Media on Divorce
With 500 million Facebook visitors each month, social media networking is now a way of life. But another noteworthy statistic is the growing number of divorce cases that stem from incriminating posts on networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
According to a 2010 survey [CK1] by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 81 percent of divorce attorneys saw an increase in the number of divorce cases using social networking evidence in the past five years. Two-thirds of these lawyers cited Facebook as the primary online evidence source.
Social networking sites and texting are fertile territory for striking up romances without raising red flags the way phone calls can. Other factors that make social networking a rich source of evidence include the following:
- People can spontaneously tweet or post thoughts
- It is easier to share personal feelings electronically than face-to-face
- Forensic computer specialists can retrieve deleted electronic information
- Third-parties can post incriminating photos and stories about your activities
Photos of a spouse drinking beer at a party or posts boasting of lavish purchases and vacations can negatively impact divorce, especially child custody, child support, or property division battles.
In divorce cases, there is considerable debate over the line between the right of discovery and the invasion of privacy, both of which are protected by federal and state laws. If you have questions about the use of social media networking evidence, you should consult a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can protect your best interests.