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One third of divorce filings contain the word ‘Facebook’

It’s easy to picture: You’re in the midst of a divorce, your ex has just done something to purposefully make you mad, and you’re tempted to go on a Facebook rant. People closely involved in divorce cases would say, “Don’t do it.”

As we’ve suggested in the past, Facebook is playing a larger role in divorce than ever before. Sometimes the breakup itself stems from the social networking site, such as when someone reconnects with an old flame and has an affair. More often, though, Facebook posts are being used as evidence.

While hacking into someone’s computer may be considered illegal, Facebook is a public space, and that’s why many family law judges allow it as evidence. About 80 percent of divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in cases involving Facebook, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and roughly a third of divorce filings these days contain the word “Facebook” at least once.

Some attorneys say that they look at Facebook posts of their clients and often warn them to stay off social networking sites until divorce proceedings are finished. Not surprisingly, many people are reluctant to do so. If that’s the case, then it’s important to understand that anything they post could theoretically be presented in court.

More than anything, Facebook evidence can tarnish one’s credibility. If a spouse claims that he cannot make spousal support payments, for instance, but shows up in a Facebook picture sipping champagne on an expensive vacation, he may have some explaining to do to the court.

Source: KDVR, “Facebook lands in divorce court across the country,” May 22, 2012

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