SOCIAL MEDIA savvy
Admittance of electronic and social media evidence in divorce court can differ from state to state. Jaliz Maldonado, a National Law Review contributing author, notes the use of social media has become so "ubiquitous," its practically unavoidable in today's courtroom.
Maldonado points out that being an attorney in the 21st Century demands a high level of social media savvy. Understanding the law is no longer enough. It's imperative that attorneys account for "Facebook or Twitter posts, direct messages, Instagram photos, and countless other potentially damming evidence during divorce cases."
Web Preserver, a Chrome Extension used by attorneys and investigators, captures web and social media pages in addition to videos and whole websites for use as admissible evidence in court. Back in Feb. 2019, Web Preserver found the following:
- 81% of attorneys come across significant social media evidence to present in court
- 66% of divorce cases utilize Facebook as a primary source of evidence
- One-third of all legal actions initiated in divorce court are precipitated by nefarious social media/digital conduct
Generally speaking, a spouse's social media profiles are admissible evidence in divorce proceedings if they were procured in concert with the law.
Should an estranged spouse create a fake social media account for the purpose of 'friending' their soon-to-be ex, any evidence gathered by the party is inadmissible.
According to Divorce Magazine, 30% of marriages will end due to a Facebook-related issue. In these instances, posts, comments, and photos inevitably become evidence.
[So] long as a party can properly 'authenticate' Facebook posts or messages—meaning establishing the messages as having been originated by that particular party at a particular time that is relevant to the proceeding—the court will consider such evidence all day long, and, in fact, such evidence is starting to have a substantial outcome on the cases in which they’re introduced. -Russel J. Frank, Esq.
Given Facebook's power to significantly alter the outcome of divorce proceedings in other states, we wondered where Idaho stood on the issue. We were unable to confirm the Gem State's policy regarding Facebook evidence in divorce court proceedings. Do you know? Enlighten us with your Idaho divorce court/Facebook savvy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!