The amount of evidence collected for divorce proceedings through social media has increased by 80 percent, according to divorce attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Searches of social media websites and digital communications produce valuable information which can be used for or against you during a divorce proceeding. You need to be aware of the pitfalls that may await you as you participate in the modern day communication through the internet and mobile devices.
What social media is being explored?
Searches by divorce attorneys on behalf of their clients are being done on texts, emails, phone numbers, call histories, GPS and internet search histories, and social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and dating services.
What is the most common form of divorce evidence found by divorce attorneys?
Over 90 percent of divorce attorneys surveyed by AAML said that they have seen big increases in the number of cases using evidence from text messages in the past three years. Text messages can be damaging because they are reflexive, spontaneous, and immediate. They document how a litigant may have felt in the moment, and may not be well thought out for a divorce proceeding.
Will an attorney be able to obtain any other data from my cell phone?
The attorney representing your spouse may subpoena your cell phone provider for text messages, and phone calls made from all numbers on your contract. 97 percent of attorneys surveyed said they have seen an increase in evidence from smart phones and other wireless devices during the last three years.
Does an attorney have access to my emails?
Email provides a treasure trove of information for your spouses’ legal team in your divorce or child custody proceedings. If you have legal access to the other party’s email account, any transmissions sent by the address owner may be evidence admissible in court. The federal and state laws on privacy issues should be carefully reviewed before you take any action.
What information can be gathered from my social media websites?
Seventy percent of the attorneys surveyed said they used more evidence in the family court room from sources such as Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to consult with your attorney if you are involved in a divorce or child custody proceeding, about your social media posts, so as to protect your case and keep your legal team aware of potential issues. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and other similar sites are an easy way for an attorney to document your whereabouts, who you spend your time with, and how you behave. Once you post information on social media, it is possible for it be located and used in court.
Be sure to work with an attorney who understands what is and is not permissible in family court, because the consequences could adversely affect your case. If you are looking for an experienced family law attorney, please contact the law offices of Anderson, Bailey, Moore and Nowell.
This blog is intended for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for talking to one of our lawyers here at Anderson, Moore Bailey and Nowell. In fact, the first step you can take towards resolving your problem is to have a face to face conversation with one of our lawyers. Our consultations are free, they are confidential, and we can almost always schedule you an appointment the same day we receive a call.