For those who change their relationship status from married to single, they better be careful about what content they’re posting online. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers are saying they’ve seen an increase of content posted to sites like Facebook being used as evidence. Karen Conti, a law professor at the University of Illinois, says most people would assume that means discovering affairs but there are many other possibilities.
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“Custody battles. Where you might see a parent smoking pot or something that would have an impact on their ability to be a good parent,” Conti says. “Someone has taken a trip or they’re dissipating family money … or they’re doing something that’s not in the best interest of the family.” She says text messages and e-mails have been submitted as evidence for several years and now social networking sites are catching up. It raises yet another question about how private sites like Facebook really are, she says. “I think people are just going to have to be careful. More and more careful about what they put on their computer,” Conti says. “Whether that’s e-mails or Facebook or [you] know anything.” The report says almost 70 percent of the evidence from social networking sites comes from Facebook. About 15 percent comes from Myspace. And although the court may subpoena a person for their username and password Conti says that only happens on rare occasions when the court is looking for specific information.