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Facebook: Increasingly, a Major Factor in Divorce Disputes

We informed readers of a rather startling statistic in our April 29 blog post, namely, this: Online posts, mostly Facebook communications, have ended up as evidence in about 80 percent of all divorce cases that have been filed in the United States over the past five years.

That figure comes courtesy of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an obviously authoritative source when it comes to divorce-related evidence. Online communications most frequently end up before a judge in matters concerning child custody.

Such was the case recently in a rather bizarre matter from Indiana that involved Facebook at its core. The essential facts are as follows.

An ex-wife sought to entrap her husband by creating a false online profile and inducing him to engage in damning or unlawful communications, which she could then use at a child custody hearing.

The woman posed as a 17-year-old girl and, indeed, her former spouse began communicating. At one point, he stated that he had bugged his divorced wife's car with a GPS system that enabled him to know where she was at all times, and then he dropped strong hints that he was looking for someone to kill her.

That was enough for his ex, who informed police. Her former partner was taken in to custody.

The matter took a strange twist, though, after the man produced a notarized affidavit he wrote after his wife created the fake profile. The man wrote that he strongly suspected the posing teen was his ex, and that he was communicating "to gain positive proof that it is indeed my ex-wife trying to again tamper in my life."

The court found that eminently persuasive, released the man from custody and dropped all charges against him.

Related Resource: The Tech Herald, "Fake Facebook profile leads to courtroom divorce drama" June 13, 2011

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