Heath-Newton LLP Counselors at Law

Bay Area Family Law Blog


Divorcing Couple Ordered to Swap Facebook Passwords

In our work as divorce litigators we are seeing an extreme upsurge in the use of social networking sites as evidence in child custody cases. The trend began several years ago, and with dramatic consequences. In my first case involving Facebook, the husband presented screen shots of his wife’s newsfeed to establish that she drank too much, partied too much, and lived with an unsavory roommate. She lost custody.

We regularly advise clients to carefully guard what they post. Our tips: emphasize pictures of your kids; deemphasize pictures of you drinking; and adjust your privacy settings so that others cannot post photos of you without your permission. Nothing is more incriminating than a candid photo taken with a phone. Think Michael Phelps.

This latest development presents further complications. Judges are now ordering couples to swap passwords – this means that even strictly guarded privacy settings won’t help (here’s a link to the article). These cases are becoming more complex by the day and nuanced professional advice is more important than ever. If you believe you think that social media may play a part in your child custody case, you should contact an experienced family law attorney to help you strategize your approach. This is one issue that you don’t want to bungle.

Categories: Custody, Divorce

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