Mirror has Two Faces: Divorce and Facebook

June 23, 2009 | Divorce, Family Law News, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Personally, I haven’t joined Facebook yet. Lots of my friends and family have sent me invitations, and I feel bad declining them, but I’ve seen what happens there, and I’m not sure I want to be part of it.

The South Carolina Family Law blog reported this week on a growing trend among family lawyers: checking out Facebook profiles to learn information that can be used against a spouse in divorce litigation. Time Magazine even wrote a story about it in a recent issue:

For those who want to connect or reconnect with others, social-networking sites are a huge, glorious honeypot. But for those who are disconnecting, they can make things quite sticky. And as the age of online-social-network users creeps up, it overlaps more with the age of divorce-lawyer users, resulting in the kind of semipublic laundry-airing that can turn aggrieved spouses into enraged ones and friends into embarrassed spectators.

My advice: If you are going to publish a Facebook profile, don’t drunk-post. In fact, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents, kids, boss, co-workers and divorce judge to read…. and don’t let anyone else post those things on your profile page. If your profile is a little boring, keep it that way until you are out of harm’s way (i.e., the divorce and custody litigation are concluded).¬†Or, remove your profile and keep in touch with friends the old-fashioned way: by email.

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