Online dating sites: Fertile ground for divorce-related evidence

Have you heard of the online dating sites Match.com or eHarmony? Do you perhaps peruse them occasionally or even have an account and active profile on one, both or some other Internet entity?

For many persons who do, such sites are valuable tools for social interaction. They save time, energy and provide an important function as a screening mechanism for meeting people.

Statistics from multiple sources also reveal that online dating sites are repositories for the less-than-candid profile submissions of many members.

That is, well, what it is, given that many people adjust, tweak or outright embellish the real truths about their personalities, lifestyles, occupations and income, relationship status and so forth. As with many other realms of life, dating sites necessarily come with this disclaimer: Buyer beware.

There is one additional caveat that can also be relevant for persons who alter the reality of their profiles, namely this: Prosecutors, judges, investigators, suspicious partners, angry ex-spouses and others might be examining profile data information with just as much avidity as the author supplying it.

In fact, notes that American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, embellished personal info from online sites is featuring increasingly more in litigation involving child custody and visitation, child support, property division and other divorce-related matters.

“This lack of honesty could prove costly for someone in the middle of a divorce or child custody case,” says AAML president Alton Abramowitz.

Nearly 60 percent of attorneys polled in a recent survey say that they have observed an upward tick in divorce cases featuring evidence that was discovered in online dating websites.

The most commonly tweaked (read “lied about”) profile item is relationship status (single when really married), followed by job title and income and then parental status.

Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers,” Dating Websites Providing More Divorce Evidence Says Survey: Nation’s Top Matrimonial Lawyers Cite Match.com as Most Common Source ,” Feb. 11, 2013

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