In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
For Divorce Lawyers, Facebook Is Their New Best Friend
Did you forget to unfriend your now ex-wife on Facebook before you posted photos of yourself on vacation with your mistress? To her divorce lawyer, this is exciting news.
Social networking websites and oversharing go hand in hand with one another, and it has created a plethora of info and evidence that is now being used in divorce cases across America. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, approximately 80% of their members have used evidence obtained from social media websites, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, in divorce cases within the last five years.
When it comes to transforming virtual reality into divorce drama in real life, Facebook has become the undisputed leader. Nearly 66% of attorneys surveyed by the AAML stated that Facebook had become a significant source of gathering evidence online. Following a close second was MySpace at 15%, and Twitter came in third with a total of 5%.
In 2008, the Pew Internet and American Life Project issued a report stating that nearly one in five American adults had used Facebook for the express purpose of flirting. However, it is not only affectionate photos with a mistress that are being used as evidence. Think of a father forcing their child to defriend another parent in an effort to boost their claims of alienation of affection against another parent.
This phenomenon is not limited solely to America. A UK divorce website, Divorce-Online, stated that the word “Facebook” had appeared in approximately one in five divorce petitions within the last five months. Unfortunately, social media networks also create an ideal battleground for smear and hate related campaigns that often result from embattled spouses going through a nasty divorce.
For our clients who are currently going through a divorce, we offer the following tips for using social media websites wisely:
§ What you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. If you insist on lying under oath, make sure that your social media profiles aren’t full of evidence that supports the contrary.
§ Be wary of mutual friends. We understand the urge to trash talk can be great, but there will be some mutual friends who insist on taking sides during your divorce. Now is the worst possible time for you to share your feelings online.
§ A picture is worth a thousand words…and quite a bit of money. In the midst of a contentious divorce is the worst possible time for divorcing parties to be posting booze filled, sexually explicit, or carousing photos.
§ Privacy settings exist for a reason. Find them. Learn how they work. Use them.
For more information on how social media networks can influence your final divorce settlement, contact one of our experienced NH divorce lawyers today. Your well-being, and that of your children, should be your first concern, and thoughtless posts made online could have future ramifications on both of you. Be prepared and learn how to play it safe.
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