The Role of Social Media and the Internet in California Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmTechnology and social media are used for a variety of purposes and the list includes divorces as well. Social media is a storehouse of information which can be used as part of an evidence in the courtroom. People should be careful of what they share on social media since the information never gets deleted and can be tracked down anytime. Individuals who go through divorces often vent out their frustration on social media and such conversations can be misused by a third party. Individuals, therefore, should be careful of what they are sharing with others.

Social media has evolved from entertainment applications to serious tools that can be used effectively in divorce proceedings.

Impact of social media

Facebook posts are increasingly being cited in divorce petitions and have become one of the important mediums of evidence finder. Conversations can be used as evidence in divorce proceedings and are being used for better divorces. In a number of separate cases, conversations of individuals involved in divorce proceedings have helped the court to take major decisions.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have become very popular and almost every individual has at least one social media account. Networking has become an integral part of how people communicate and interact with each other. People sometimes tend to post things for fun but it may lead to serious consequences later on.

Social media is a source of crucial evidence

A divorce proceeding is based on evidence and social media has made it easier for individuals to find crucial evidence for many divorces. For example., someone who lies about his/her employment can easily be cross-checked via his/her social media posts and updates. In certain real-life scenarios, it has been proved that social media is a very good source for evidence. In one case, a woman won an increase in child support due to evidence of her husband’s business on LinkedIn. There are many such cases which show how important social media communication has become and why it needs to be taken seriously.

If you are going through a divorce or are about to go through one, remember to never publish anything related to your divorce on social media. This includes properties, businesses, assets or any other evidence that can be used in a courtroom. To be on the safer side, hire a good and experienced lawyer who knows how to handle divorce evidence.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated! Click this link to download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Using Texts and Emails In California Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmParties that are involved in divorce litigation will find that technology can have a significant impact on their cases. Text messages and emails are being regularly used in court proceedings. Introducing texts and emails to a judge in the court is tricky. Parties must familiarize themselves, because if not done properly, they will not be admitted into evidence.

Obtaining text messages and email communications

Text messages sent to the opposing party should always be backed up as the chances of the messages getting deleted by the opposing party is highly likely.

Information pertaining to the time the message was sent or received, in addition to the date, can be obtained through a subpoena. An opposition is to be expected from the opposing party and the cell phone provider when sending a subpoena to a cell phone provider. The attorney can draft a letter and send it to the cell phone provider to try and stop providers from permanently deleting messages. The best way to obtain messages that are related to the opposing party is to directly approach them.

To obtain email communications, there are two ways. Messages can be acquired from the party that is in control of the electronic device containing the emails. This can be achieved by serving a demand to examine the hard drive, allowing the emails to be copied. If the emails are stored on cloud servers, divorce attorneys have to subpoena the cloud service provider to obtain them.

Authenticating electronic evidence

Emails and texts need to be authenticated before being introduced as evidence. The chances of tinkering electronic evidence are higher than normal, hence proper steps must be taken to effectively use them. There are chances of a third party getting involved by using a party’s computer to send emails to different parties. Hence, authenticating all forms of communication are necessary.

There has to be a preliminary showing of relevance to the issue that has to be done with respect to emails and texts. This can be done by substantiating the writing, verifying that it was made by the sender, and not the receiver.

Text messages in California can be authenticated through the following ways:

  • Coincidental proof of authenticity (Evidence Code §1410)
  • Unique attributes of the message itself (Evidence Code §1421)
  • Testimony by witness who saw the creation or execution of messages (Evidence Code §1413)
  • Reply authentication (Evidence Code §1420)

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

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