Heymann & Fletcher

What role does Facebook play in a New Jersey divorce?

The reasons why New Jersey couples divorce are as plentiful as the reasons why they get married. However, some of the reasons why couples divorce are more prolific than others, and one that seems to be gaining ground is Facebook. A survey indicates that the social media site is playing a larger role in divorces than anyone -- most likely including its founder Mark Zuckerberg -- could have predicted.

Other social networking sites are also interfering in marriages. However, it seems that Facebook receives the lion's share of the blame. Not only are people asking their spouses for divorces based on questionable Facebook activity, but they are also using evidence gathered from Facebook in the courtroom.

Photographs and posts from the popular social media site are being used as proof of a spouse's bad behavior. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2010, 81 percent of family law attorneys said that evidence from Facebook was increasingly being used in divorce cases. In fact, the site has become the leading source of information in family law proceedings to the point that nearly 66 percent of the attorneys surveyed scoured the site for evidence on behalf of their clients.

A New Jersey resident contemplating divorce might benefit from gathering photos and posts from Facebook for use during the proceedings if appropriate. At the same time, it may be a good idea to curb the use of Facebook and other social media sites during the process in order to limit or eliminate any information the other party may find. Settlement negotiations and courtroom battles are challenging enough without adding any additional complications such as a potentially compromising photograph or post.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Stay Off Social Media (Or Risk Divorce), New Survey Says", Brittany Wong, April 30, 2015

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