Individuals in California who are involved in custody disputes may be interested to learn that a judge in New York recently ruled that Facebook posts could be used as evidence in one custody case. A father sought and was granted permission to use evidence from his ex-wife's Facebook page to demonstrate that he has been the primary caregiver for their son.
The father said that his ex-wife's Facebook page would show photos of her traveling to places such as Boston and Italy. Reportedly, the woman did not expect her Facebook page to be used as evidence, as she had "unfriended" her ex. The judge said in his decision that how much time each parent spent with the child is relevant to the case, and the mother is required to provide her login information by September.
This is the first time a social media profile has been used in this way in New York. Most states have not yet permitted a similar use of social media. Minnesota has done so in limited cases. However, it is expected that the judge's decision in this case will set a precedent in future cases involving divorce and child custody. Courts throughout the country may begin to rule that social media accounts can be used in custody disputes.
Individuals who are involved in disputes over child support or custody orders may wish to consult an attorney. An attorney may be able to find valuable information on an ex-spouse's social media accounts and present it to a judge. For example, if one parent claims to be unable to pay the agreed-upon child support, the social media account might show that parent making extravagant purchases. Social media accounts might also be used to build evidence demonstrating that a child has a close relationship with one parent and spends a great deal of time with that parent.