In the last decade, social media has played an increasingly important role in divorce. These days, social media evidence is routinely used in cases involving divorce, alimony reduction, child support, child custody and visitation disputes.
In some cases, evidence obtained from social media sites is considered critically important, and in other cases judges view it as nonsense, and a waste of the court's time. It all depends on the facts of the case.
Social media evidence can be used to:
- Establish a spouse's spending habits
- Prove irresponsible behavior
- Show that a party isn't making a good faith effort to get a job
- Show that a party has job skills, and is in fact employable
- Establish that an extramarital affair has occurred
- Show a waste of the marital assets
How a spouse conducts themselves on social media can hurt their family law case. Many of today's divorce lawyers are Internet-savvy and will search a party's Facebook status or other social media sites to obtain evidence in the divorce case.
Social media evidence is frequently used in child custody cases; for example, if a spouse posts material that is considered immoral or questionable, they can be rest assured that their ex-spouse will retrieve it and try to use it against them in court.
1 in 7 Considered Divorce Due to Social Media Activity
A recent survey of 2,000 married Brits found that one in seven people said that they have considered divorce because of their spouse's activity on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Nearly sixty percent of those polled by the law firm Slater and Gordon said that they knew their spouse's password, and their spouses didn't know they knew them. Almost 25 percent of the respondents said that they had at least one argument every week related to social media use, and another 17 percent said that they fought about it on a daily basis.
In the United States, divorce attorneys agree that social media has played an increasingly greater role in marriage breakdowns. In 2012, over 80 percent of divorce lawyers who were surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that in the past five years, they had seen an increase in the number of cases that used social media evidence.
Of all of the social media sites, Facebook was cited as being the leading source of online evidence; 66 percent of the attorneys admitted that they found the evidence themselves by combing through the site.
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