Thursday, June 4, 2015
Facebook and Divorce - How Can Facebook Evidence Be Used in Court
I have discussed before the admissibility of Facebook evidence in Court. What I mean by this is using Facebook post by your ex or soon to be ex against them as evidence when you go before an Idaho divorce judge. As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I have myself used evidence to show questionable character of the other party such as lying, exaggeration or pulling one over on the court. As the use of Facebook becomes more ubiquitous, the nature of the evidence and its admissibility may be questioned more by the court.
It dawned on me the other day that much of what is put on Facebook is what we call in the law, puffery. Puffery is a form of exaggeration; maybe not quite lying but putting forth an image that differs from reality. I read an article about how the more time people spend surfing social media, the more likely they are to become depressed. This depression stems from seeing their friends' wonderful, exciting lives. Their friends are displaying their lives as this fascinating display of vacations, events, awards and so on.
What does this Facebook puffery have to do with divorce or evidence in the divorce court? To state the obvious from the view of a Boise Divorce Attorney, overuse of Facebook is a symptom which can lead to issues which can fuel an already failing marriage such as increasing the chance of infidelity or an preoccupied emotionally absent spouse. The other issue divorce lawyers face is in light of the way people puff their posts, can any or all Facebook posts be used against the side? An illustrative example might be the divorcing wife who claims that she spends all her time with the child and the husband does nothing but drink, go out to bars and party. If I, as a divorce attorney, show Facebook posts of the wife drinking and partying does that really show her true character? What if I show Facebook posts of the husband doing housework and playing with the child? Does this contradict that evidence?
I believe that while Facebook can provide a source of evidence, it is evidence which will require corroborating evidence to make it stand. In other words, a Facebook post may or may not be sufficient evidence to establish custody in one party or another, show questionable character, perjury or anything else for that matter.
If you are facing a divorce and need to speak with a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383.