The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers cites that 81% of their member attorneys have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence. Of those lawyers, 66% cited Facebook as being the primary source of social media evidence. For most of us, use of social media has become so second nature that we can’t imagine going a day without sharing details of our lives. Sometimes, we share without thinking through all the consequences.
Generally, all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, etc.) are admissible as evidence in Court. Anything posted can be considered an “admission” of the parent posting. Statements by friends and family members on social media are hearsay and usually not admissible. Once you or your spouse files for divorce, it is important to block their access to your social media sites and to take a break from posting. Even seemingly innocent postings can be used against you in Court if the other side thinks the posting is relevant to an issue in the divorce. Even if your soon-to-be-ex spouse cannot see your profile, some of your “friends” may be more loyal to your spouse than you. If you choose to continue using social media during your divorce, it’s important to not post, tweet or share anything you would not want shared with the entire world.
If your spouse is still using social media, it can be a virtual goldmine of information for the divorce. Posts and photos can provide information about the following: unauthorized spending of marital assets, changes in income like bonuses or wage raises, document activities of that spouse if those activities reflect poor judgment in a custody dispute, and document any new romantic interest of the spouse.