Social Media: A New Card in the Divorce Deck

According to a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), more divorce cases now involve evidence gleaned from social media, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr and Photobucket.

As long ago as the days of the hotel divorce (where a private eye and his photographer captured an adulterous couple in an indiscreet moment) photographic evidence has often played a part in divorce actions; but now “all they need to do is go online to find evidence on profile pages, wall comments, status reports, and photo files. Incriminating photos and other information … is not usually the image the opposing parent wanted to portray before a judge and the evidence can definitely affect alimony disputes and custody fight. A parent could easily lose custody, alimony, or both due to inappropriate behavior online.”

Jason Krafsky and his wife Kelli, the authors of Facebook and Your Marriage, believe it is not the media site that creates the problem, “it’s the user’s behavior.”

“Lack of boundaries is a huge issue,” says Krafsky. “If you don’t have good boundaries you have no business being on Facebook or any other cyberspace social networking or game sites. It’s just too risky. The other issue is when people get caught for crossing the line they usually don’t handle it well. Whether it is Facebook or something else, establishing personal boundaries is a part of everyday life with friends, co-workers, clients, and extended family members. Setting up boundaries around your marriage relationship is key to proactively protecting yourself, your spouse, your marriage, your kids, and your reputation.”

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