Facebook and Family Law

In the age of social networking, everyone seems to be on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or some other site where they can easily stay connected to old friends or colleagues. When going through a family law proceeding, especially a divorce, your postings will be scrutinized, frequently out of context, and may be used against you in those proceedings. You have the ability to control your privacy settings, but that does not stop other people from posting about you or your activities. Further, your postings may be viewable by a third party without your knowledge or consent through a simple internet search.

It is not as simple as deleting posts or not being “tagged” in post; a simple Google search can reveal information you may have intended to reveal to only a select group or something someone else posted about you. Deleting or sanitizing your Facebook page is not the answer as it may put you at risk for sanctions for failing to preserve the evidence. The only fool proof thing you can do to protect yourself is to keep your private life out of other people’s and your own status updates and photos during a divorce.

Just like your Facebook posts can be used against you, they can also be used as a source of information about other parties. Facebook posts can be especially helpful in helping to prove a dissipation claim. If your spouse’s new boyfriend/girlfriend is posting about where they go, what they do, or gifts they receive, that information can be used to target formal discovery interrogatories or to show inconsistent statements made during depositions as well as in various other proceedings.

Kardashian and Kanye West had their first child together

On June 15, 2013, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had their first child together, North West. North was conceived while Kardashian was still married to her now ex-husband, Kris Humphries. The law presumes a child conceived during a marriage is the child of said marriage. This law is based on a state’s interest in not having “illegitimate” children, but has an interesting effect on couples and children in situations like Kardashian, West and Humphries. Because North was conceived during Kardashian’s marriage with Humphries, Humphries could have potentially made a claim for custody of the child even though North is obviously West’s baby. The fact that Kardashian instituted the divorce proceedings before getting pregnant and had little or no contact with Humphries after doing so would likely invalidate a claim of fatherhood by Humphries, a DNA blood test would also assist in determining paternity. In addition, if West was not in the picture, Humphries would have wanted to take action to rebut the presumption of his fatherhood to avoid being on the hook for child support. Kardashian and Humphries’ divorce was finalized on April 19, 2013, and Humphries never made any claim of fatherhood, nor did he seek to rebut the presumption of his relationship with the baby, as it never became an issue.