How Social Media Has Affected Family Law

 In El Paso, Family Law

an individual using social media on a smart phoneToday’s culture revolves around being online. Almost every person, from toddlers to elderly folk, have web-enabled devices in their pockets or hands at all times. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, flood the Internet with personal information and images. As harmless as these posts may seem, they can play a vital role in the world of family law. Whether you’re working on getting a divorce or you’re struggling with child custody, the Perales Law Firm can help. Below, we’ve outlined two of the most pertinent family law cases regarding social media. Whether or not these cases relate to your particular situation, it’s still in your best interest to seek legal assistance from an experienced family law team.

Ohio 2007: Dexter v. Dexter

First, let’s look back to this case that took place a little over a decade ago in Ohio. Dexter v. Dexter, a custody case, gathered evidence from the mother’s social media postings on the website MySpace. Here, she wrote blog posts in which she stated that she practiced “sado-masochism and was pagan.” As these posts were online, the mother challenged the evidence’s admissibility in court but, as the blog posts were posted online for all to see, the Court of Appeals of Ohio found that the mother could not claim an expectation of privacy in regard to her posts.

Louisiana 2016: Shaw v. Young

Now, let’s divert our attention to a more recent case, Shaw v. Young. The Court of Appeals of Louisiana held that the husband constantly sent emails and text messages to his wife. The husband also repeatedly posted about his wife on social media to the extent that the Court constituted his actions as “cyberstalking” which qualifies as domestic abuse, thus supporting the wife’s need for a permanent Protective Order. According to the wife’s testimony, her husband posted messages on Facebook about her immigration status. He also threatened to post private images of his wife.  The Court decided that these actions (whether they be online or through physical letters) constitute a pattern that would cause any reasonable person to experience feelings of alarm or suffer from emotional distress.

The Perales Law Firm is Ready to Helpl

These two cases are just scratching the surface; there is still a lot of ground to be covered when it comes to social media’s role in family law cases. If you require assistance, the Perales Law Firm can help. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!

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