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Divorce lawyers use Facebook to gather evidence

Date:29 JUN 2010

LaptopA new study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has found that 81% of their members say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years.

Examples include husbands forgetting to de-friend their estranged wife and posting photos of their mistress on their Facebook page while claiming not to have been unfaithful.

"Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny. If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence," said Marlene Eskind Moses, president of the AAML. "As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations."

Facebook holds the distinction of being the unrivaled leader for online divorce evidence with 66% citing it as the primary source, while MySpace follows with 15%, Twitter at 5%, and other choices listed by 14%.

However, it is not only in the US where Facebook is used to gather evidence. Research in January by the UK based Divorce-Online website revealed that Facebook was cited in almost one in five of their online divorce petitions.