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Social media increasingly used in family law cases

Washington family law litigation is making more and more use of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media, as we recently discussed in our Spokane Family Law Blog. People use social media to document their lives and these comprehensive records can provide a great deal of information in divorce, child custody or child support proceedings.

Social media can provide evidence of cheating, hidden assets and other information relevant to family law cases. A recent news report says that people are often reestablishing relationships with old flames--even living double lives--with the use of social media.

Family law professionals noted in this report that many people do not understand that everything on a Facebook page is potentially discoverable in court. Alimony payments, child custody, modifications of child support, paternity, establishing a residential schedule and other important issues in family law cases can all be affected by social media posts.

A spouse might, for example, complain about a bad financial stretch while documenting where the money is really going on Facebook. Stories of cheating spouses abound and people are often shocked to find out just how much infidelity is being actively documented. One woman even reportedly posted her attempts to find someone to kill her husband.

Social media, while a fun way to connect with friends and family, can also contribute to conflicts in family law cases. Courts are looking to this evidence for insight into the real lives of people involved in family law litigation.

Social media enthusiasts should be aware that everything they place on that Facebook page or Twitter feed could potentially be used against them.

Source: CBS New York, "Seen at 11: The New Face of Divorce," April 26, 2012

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