PA Divorce Lawyers Use Facebook Evidence in Family Court
Experienced PA Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
The prevalence of social media websites such as Facebook is hard to ignore. Not surprisingly, then, is the recent trend of evidence from these websites being used in Pennsylvania family court cases, including PA divorce, child custody, visitation, alimony and child support matters.
This trend is not limited to Pennsylvania. According to survey conducted in early 2011 by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Facebook is cited in 1 in 5 divorce cases in America (www.aaml.org). Now more than ever, evidence from Facebook is routinely used in PA family law cases. Evidence obtained from social media sites such as Facebook can be extremely harmful to your Pennsylvania family law case.
How is Facebook Used in Pennsylvania Family Court?
Facebook can be used to establish an individual’s lifestyle by demonstrating evidence of spending habits; drinking, drug use and other irresponsible behavior by a parent; contradictions to statements previously made; or the failure of an individual to make a good faith effort to find a job.
Many Pennsylvania divorce lawyers are very comfortable with online research, and they will search your Facebook profile and other social media sites for possible evidence to use against your in your case.
Examples of Social Media Evidence Obtained for Family Law Matters
Some typical examples Facebook evidence used in Pennsylvania family court include:
Photos tagged of a drunk parent used as evidence a child is not being properly cared for
Posting pictures of your new car, luxury vacation or other major purchase you've made after you've filed paperwork with the court to reduce your PA child support or alimony payments
Your friend's wall post about your crazy weekend together when you were supposed to be spending quality parenting time with your children
How to Protect Yourself
People tend to feel a false sense of anonymity when posting information online from behind a computer. The fact is that anything you post on the internet is public information that can be retrieved by others and used as evidence against you. You should be very aware of what you are posting online. You should be prepared to have anything you post on Facebook used as evidence against you. Therefore, if you are involved in a pending PA divorce or child custody action, it is often wise to refrain from using Facebook and other social media altogether. If you insist on maintaining any social media profiles, be very mindful of your privacy settings, and consider running your own search to determine what kind of information about you is publicly available to others.
For more information about PA divorce and other Pennsylvania family law issues, please consult our PA Family Law practice page.
The experienced divorce attorneys at The Martin Law Firm represent individuals in Southeastern Pennsylvania for family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Contact The Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980 or by email to contact an experienced PA divorce attorney.