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Social media may play role in custody decision

A judge's recent request in a family court may leave some surprised. It came during a child custody dispute between the spouses who were working toward a divorce settlement. The husband alleged that his wife's Facebook account held several pieces of evidence that would help his request to receive full custody of his children. After hearing this, the judge told each spouse to share their Facebook passwords with the other and their attorneys. This also applied to their dating website passwords.

Many marriages in Ohio, like every other state, end in separation. For many couples, divorce the best decision for both parties, but it does come with a process that regularly involves the division of property and determination of child custody. Evidence to determine custody usually involves whether a parent is in a sound state of mind to raise a child and what will best serve the general well-being of the son or daughter.

But with the overwhelming presence of social media, many people post daily on social websites, allowing for an insight to be gained that could usually not be discovered otherwise. If someone posts about how much they dislike their children or how bad of a parent they are, for example, it may be held against them later during divorce proceedings.

This invaluable information may become a larger part of determining custody in the future. Because so many people now have social media accounts, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced legal professional about how to handle your account during divorce proceedings.

Source: Newser, "Divorcing Couple Told to Swap Facebook Passwords," Rob Quinn, Nov. 10, 2011

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