CNN reports on another use for Facebook — as evidence in divorce cases.
Before the explosion of social media, Ken Altshuler, a divorce lawyer in Maine, dug up dirt on his client’s spouses the old-fashioned way: with private investigators and subpoenas. Now the first place his team checks for evidence is Facebook. […]
“Facebook is a great source of evidence,” Altshuler said. “It’s absolutely solid evidence because he’s the author of it. How do you deny that you put that on?”
Social media stalking skills have become invaluable to the legal world for divorce cases in particular. Online photo albums, profile pages, wall comments, status updates and tweets have become gold mines for evidence and leads. Today, divorce and family law firms routinely cull information posted on social media sites — the flirty exchanges with a paramour, unsavory self-revelations and compromising photographs — to buttress their case.
Posting hugging and kissing photos online can show a happily married relationship, or it can expose a secretive affair. At least 80 percent of attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers cited a growth in the number of cases that used social media over the last five years. The study was released earlier this year. […]
Facebook — where attorneys find most of the evidence and leads — has gradually relaxed privacy settings over the last year. Attorneys say that enabled some members’ personal details to be leaked without the user realizing it, attorneys say. […]
“It’s becoming all but impossible to protect your information unless you spend hours and hours figuring it out,” said Lee Rosen, a divorce attorney in North Carolina, who added he reaped the benefits of the tricky privacy controls in a recent case. […]
Information copied from social media sites can sway the outcome of alimony payment disputes and custody fights, attorneys say. Some parents have even lost a child because of the behavior they exhibited online, the lawyers say.