As the 21st century brings more and more advanced technology to our fingertips, courtrooms across the country are seeing an increase in the use of technology in legal matters as well. Only recently, a growing number of family law cases have involved the use of social media as key evidence, and the implications can be unclear to those who are perhaps curious about how social media evidence may affect their divorce and custody proceedings. Your most trusted name for a divorce lawyer, Walker Wright & Associates is here to provide important information about this new kind of evidence, and how it may be an asset or hindrance to your family law matters.
The scope of information available through facebook traffic history is quite large, and can be downloaded in a zip file with such information as message history, photos, click records of advertisements, and posts that may be used as persuasive elements in a legal case. Many of the same standards for validating other kinds of admissible evidence also apply to social media, and in the case of facebook data, it must be legitimately accessible to apply. Just as phone records may be requested from a phone company for use in the court, a divorce lawyer may need to obtain a subpoena for the media content from platforms such as facebook or twitter in order to prove authenticity of the content.
When Centennial divorce lawyers handles a case, they must approach any evidence, including evidence from social media, as outlined by the rules of the state. Primarily, public content is most readily available. Social media data can contain incredibly sensitive material, and not all of it may be as private as you think. In fact, anything you share, even to a select group such as the “close friends” option on facebook, may not be considered private by a court.
The general application of social media data in the court is used as evidence to prove time and place, actions, communication, state of mind, proof of assets, extent of injury, details of employment, and motive in crime. In family law cases, dating profiles have recently been influential in matters of custody and divorce, especially when a spouse creates an account during or after the marriage. The applications of this kind of evidence are as diverse as the content we post, making it a desireable avenue for changing the course of a case. What remains most important are the ethics of obtaining the evidence, the ability to prove authenticity of the data, whether or not the data constitutes hearsay, and how relevant it is.
Walker Wright & Associates encourages you to take caution and consider your own social media profiles before posting content, as people are more and more active in posting details of their life on social media. These details can add up to a picture you may not want to be seen in a courtroom, or by a potential employer. As a general rule, prevention is worth more than correction after the fact.