In light of the modernization of the ways in which people share information about their lives and changing states of mind, divorce attorneys are now introducing social media posts, direct messages and photos as evidence in court. Approximately 81 percent of divorce attorneys discover evidence on social media that they deem to be worth presenting in court. Facebook is utilized as a principle source of evidence in approximately 66 percent of divorce cases. Online affairs are precipitating factors in one-third of all legal action in divorces.
Although social media is a relatively new vehicle of communication, some states have already begun to address the admissibility of social media posts as evidence. A spouse's post on social media is admissible in a divorce case unless the post is obtained illegally as stated by a short list of states. However, divorce attorneys are generally not permitted to create fake profiles in the interest of gaining access to social media posts that may be presented as damaging evidence in court. Nevertheless, public posts and even private posts that are reshared by a mutual friend or acquaintance are all admissible as evidence in favor of or against a party in a divorce case.
States may differ in terms of specific rules regarding they admissibility of social media-based evidence. In some cases, attorneys may use evidence obtained from social media to prove a party has refused to comply with a protective order while others may use social media posts to provide evidence of a party's financial status in a high-asset divorce.
It may be beneficial to consult a divorce attorney to gain a better understanding of the role of social media in a divorce case. A divorce lawyer may advise clients regarding methods of obtaining information about the opposing party as well as actions that their client may take to protect their own interests during a divorce.
Source:The National Law Review,"Social Media Evidence in Divorce Cases", Jaliz Moldonado, Feb. 14, 2019