A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about using social media during the life of your divorce or custody case. I decided to do a search in Google Scholar to see how many reported appellate decisions) would show up if I typed in a search with the terms “divorce” and “Facebook”. In about 30 seconds Google Scholar found over 300 cases – pretty amazing. Probably not all of the cases are divorce cases. From a quick glance through the first two pages it appears there are a number of decisions from jurisdictions where a plaintiff has to prove grounds for divorce based on conduct such as adultry. There may also be decisions in which a party’s use of Facebook was not significant to the appeal. Nonetheless, the number of pages certainly shows the extent to which lawyers are using social media evidence in their trials.
In fact, according to the article written by Arizona divorce lawyer Billie Tarascio titled “The Role of Social Media in Your Divorce” there are statistics, which show that 80% of the lawyers in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a highly respected national organization of divorce lawyers, use evidence from Facebook in litigation. She also gives examples of several cases in which a party’s case was damaged by the admission of social media evidence at trial. Her thoughts on what to do about the use of social media are: (1) don’t post while you are in litigation, (2) consider who you should “friend” and (3) rethink your privacy settings. I have 4th tip to add to the list: If you are going to continue to post on Facebook or the like, discuss your plans with your divorce lawyer in advance.
Posted in: Divorce