Social networks can do damage in divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Friday, April 27, 2012

The numbers are staggering: more than 845 million people use Facebook every month. Nearly a half-billion around the world use it every single day. If you’re one of those St. Louis people who use the site to stay in touch with friends and family, it’s a good idea to be extra careful with Facebook — or any other social network — if you’re contemplating separation or going through a divorce, especially one likely to include a child custody dispute.

A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed that more than 80 percent of responding attorneys said that the number of divorce cases involving evidence gathered from social networks has risen dramatically since 2006.

In many family law practices, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites are routinely mined for information about people involved in divorce.

Photos or descriptions of parties, for instance, can be especially damaging in child custody cases.

A family law attorney writing for the Huffington Post states that a female client whose divorce was finalized a couple of years ago recently brought to the law firm’s attention a video her ex-husband had posted on YouTube. It showed the ex, who has custody of the couple’s two-year-old son, drinking alcohol with buddies in the presence of the boy.

Though the photos weren’t conclusive evidence that the dad was drunk, or that the boy was in any danger, a court nevertheless transferred custody of the child from the partying father to the mother.

If you see your ex, or soon-to-be-ex, posting photos or videos of irresponsible behavior, you owe it to your child and yourself to bring it to the attention of your family law attorney. That kind of evidence could make the difference in a child custody dispute.

Source: Huffington Post, “Don’t Let Social Media Sabotage Your Divorce,” Bari Zell Weinberger, April 24, 2012

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