In recent years, information discovered on Facebook and other social networking sites has been used as evidence in divorce proceedings in New Jersey. Although many people are surprised that their online activities can be used against them in court, there are no laws banning the use of evidence gathered from social networking sites.
The Facebook pages of divorcing spouses might contain photographic evidence that could have a potential impact on divorce proceedings. Some examples of Facebook evidence that could be used in a divorce case could be photographs that indicate infidelity, posts about location that conflict with prior statements about business trips and evidence of expensive purchases that conflict with claims of financial trouble. Although some individuals may set their Facebook posts to private, these settings can often be unreliable. Further, deleted posts can be retrieved later on by Internet forensics experts.
In 2010, a survey that was conducted by the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers found that two-thirds of lawyers use Facebook as the main source of evidence in divorce proceedings. It is important to note, however, that Facebook evidence is usually used to corroborate other forms of evidence gathered from different sources.
A person who is going through a difficult divorce might want to have legal representation. A lawyer may be able to help a divorcing spouse to take steps to ensure that their social networking activities will not be used against them by their ex-spouse. Further, a lawyer may be able to help uncover evidence about a spouse who might be hiding assets so that they cannot be included in a judge’s assessment of the marital assets.