Couples in Bellevue and elsewhere who use Facebook or other popular social media sites may be more likely to divorce. A recent study initiated by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed that approximately 80 percent of divorce lawyers had used some type of evidence from Facebook or opposing counsel had used online evidence against them. People who use the social networking site as a way to reconnect with friends or past loves may find that they are more likely to end up in an online affair and possibly divorce court.
Many spouses who end up divorced share the same stories. Their spouse came back into contact with an old boyfriend or girlfriend and wound up becoming involved in a serious affair. Some hide their computer screens or attempt to clean up their message or chat histories to keep the evidence from their spouses. Some found out through friends that their spouses were involved with another person but all of these cases had one thing in common: they ended up in divorce court, and evidence from the site was often used as leverage in their cases.
Social networking has changed the courtroom as well. Since technology is so prevalent these days, it is easier to find incriminating evidence in a case. Whether it is text messaging, chat histories or message traffic via Facebook, once it becomes part of the cyber world it could be used against someone in a divorce case. Courts routinely rule that those communications are no longer considered private.
Facebook has become a popular place for Washington state attorneys to look for evidence and has incriminated many people since the site became popular. While some people do not believe that Facebook plays a part in a couple's decision to divorce, others believe that there is at least some culpability for the ease of re-connecting with old flames and the ability to communicate with minimal effort. Nevertheless, those contemplating or involved in a divorce proceeding would do well to educate themselves as to their rights and responsibilities. Further, policies regarding Facebook and other social media outlets are not necessarily uniform among jurisdictions, and care should be taken to tailor the approach to the specific facts and circumstances of each individual case.