The question of social media and other electronic evidence has come into play in many Ohio divorces. Most couples have at least one social media account on which they post personal information. In divorce cases, 81% of lawyers say they’ve discovered evidence on social media that is worth presenting during courtroom proceedings. Around two-thirds of divorce cases involve the use of Facebook as a primary source of evidence, and one-third of all divorce case legal action can be traced to affairs conducted online.
Generally speaking, a person’s social media posts are admissible in court as evidence as long as they are not discovered illegally. It is prohibited to create false social media accounts with the intention of gaining information from an ex. Furthermore, one cannot gain admissible evidence by hacking into a social media account. Social media information gained in other ways, though, is likely to be admissible. Public posts and photos that are available to a large number of people are fair game as evidence in a divorce case.
Posts that are shared by a person’s friends or others might also be admissible. Each state has its own rules regarding this developing area of law, but the safest course is to stay off social media during a divorce. This evidence can be used to prove financial status or to argue for child custody.
In a case where an Ohio couple is approaching or going through a divorce, a lawyer could help by examining the couple’s assets and liabilities and developing a strategy for property division or child support. An attorney might also be able to negotiate the terms of property division, complete the divorce petition and look out for a client’s best interests during official hearings.