Social Media and Divorce
There is a new way to do discovery in divorce cases—look at the other party’s Facebook account. A little over a year ago Time Magazine picked up on this trend, writing a longish article on the subject and including a list of five Facebook “no-nos” during a divorce. Six months ago the Telegraph reported that Facebook popped up in one in every five divorce petitions handled by a UK law firm that specialized in divorce. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that 81 percent of the membership of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has had social media sites show up in their cases.
People generally know that they should protect information that they don’t want to be seen by a judge, but somehow social media websites are often overlooked, perhaps because some people assume that their privacy settings will keep others out. Remember to check your privacy settings regularly, particularly as Facebook is frequently changing its privacy options. Better yet, make it a point never to post anything damaging to your profile. You may not be getting a divorce, but if divorce lawyers are looking at Facebook pages, you know that other types of lawyers, including those that are hiring, are as well.