Social media is to this generation what the .com boom was to the last. It is an ever changing, adapting, growing, and profit building enterprise that many cannot go a day without using. As one woman found out during a child custody dispute during her divorce, it is also something that can be used as evidence in court.
A woman in Westchester, NY whose motion to block evidence gathered from her Facebook page was denied when her ex-husband argued that it showed that he had been the primary care giver to their 4 year old son. HE contended that her Facebook page showed her frequently out of state on business and that he was the one that spent the majority of time raising their child.
Precedent Set in Social Media Evidence in Custody Case
Since there were no previous rulings granting access to Facebook pages in New York state custody cases, the woman assumed she would receive a favorable ruling but instead a precedent was set when the court ruled against her. Her Facebook page showed evidence that she was indeed out of town, and even out of the country, quite frequently on business. She had posted pictures sightseeing in Florence, Italy and eating seafood in Boston.
Photos Posted on Facebook and Other Social Media are Admissible in Court
In this case the woman was proven to have not been the primary care giver, and her husband had a much stronger case to be granted custody of their son. In other cases it may be proven that one parent is unfit because of other circumstances or on the contrary, Facebook pages may reinforce an argument that you ARE the best person to receive custody of your children. Is a spouse unfaithful and their social media page has evidence of it? Are they often drunk or disorderly and post selfies or other incriminating evidence of bad behavior?
There is a vast amount of information about who you are and what you do when you are on social media sites. Sites like Facebook and Instagram are a window into your life, and the courts are catching up with the times and recognizing that they can learn a lot about litigants from their accounts.
Contact the Office of Ronald L. Kossack, a Tempe Family Law Attorney
Social media has made an impact on many aspects of life today. If you have questions about social media used as evidence in court for a custody hearing, call our office at 480-345-2652 or contact us online.