Facebook, marriage and divorce

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Friday, March 2, 2012.

Social networking has changed the way a lot of people communicate, and now it may be changing marriage and divorce as well in Texas and elsewhere. More and more, evidence gathered from Facebook is being used by splitting spouses in the courtroom. Indeed, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2010, 80 percent of respondents said that Facebook had been used either by them or against them in their divorce cases.

We consider what we post on Facebook to be private information, but this is not necessarily the case. Divorce attorneys are increasingly going into the courtroom with comments that were posted on Facebook in addition to emails. This means that you should think twice before posting anything in haste during a divorce.

Moreover, it would seem that Facebook could be helping to reveal infidelities. In one case involving a Texas man, he noticed that his wife kept hiding the computer screen from his sight. He saw that she was talking to someone on Facebook, and he later found out that the person was her former high school boyfriend. Over time, those Facebook conversations developed into an affair, and the couple subsequently divorced.

Yet electronic evidence in the divorce courtroom poses just as much a challenge as it does an opportunity. It can help to resolve ambiguities and disagreements about matters of fact. On the other hand, one spouse may feel that a comment they left on their friend’s profile on Facebook is being unfairly used against him or her. In the end, Texas residents who are going through a divorce may want to think twice before publishing that post or sending a message to an old flame.

Source: KHOU.com, “‘Happily ever after’ less likely for married couples using Facebook,” Katherine Whaley, Feb. 17, 2012

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