Social networks like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook have become widely used as a form of communication. What started as a teenage fad has spread to include users of all ages and from all walks of life. Users can create profile pages in which they can post pictures from their daily lives, share mass notifications of important updates in their personal lives or comment on a variety of current event issues across the nation.

Not only have they become a useful tool for rapid mass communication, but they have also become a very popular source for evidence in a divorce trial. In fact, according to a poll of attorneys across the country, 81% of lawyers have reported an increase in the use of evidence gathered from the popular social networking sites in divorce cases.

Social networking sites can be a highly useful resource when gathering evidence or a party’s worst nightmare. Much of the “he said/she said” information that was once very difficult to prove can now be supported by an overabundance of documented evidence on the internet which is much quicker and easier to access than normal paper documentation.

However, the sites can also be a person’s worst enemy in a divorce or a child custody dispute over who would make the better parent. Although the sites offer certain “privacy” features, most of the information can still be easily accessed, and you cannot control what pictures other people post on their profiles that might depict you doing something that you would rather have remained private. Many family law attorneys counsel their new clients on what they should or should not post on the sites, often suggesting that they delete the profiles altogether.

Source: “Divorce Lawyers Report Increased Use of Facebook Profiles As Evidence in Divorce Cases” 10/18/10