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Facebook can play a role in many divorce cases

Most Colorado readers are aware that social media is becoming a major component in many people's lives. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and others are also beginning to find their way into family court cases. Often, social media is brought in as evidence of a party's misdeeds, such as when one parent claims that the other is unfit to parent a shared child after a divorce. Other times, photos and information gleaned from social media is used to support a spouse's claim that his or her ex can afford to increase spousal support or child support payments.

One unusual case highlights the changing face of family courts in regard to how technology is used. The case involved a woman who sought and was granted a protective order against a former boyfriend. The order stated that the man was not to contact the woman. However, he made frequent visits to her Facebook page and "liked" as many as 22 of the photos she had posted.

When the issue went back to court, the judge found that the man's actions constituted a violation of the protective order. He was arraigned on charges of contempt of court. The judge found that even though the man had not contacted the woman through the traditional means of a phone call or visit, his actions on Facebook could be construed as communication.

This case illustrates the changing scope of how the courts approach technology. When it comes to divorce and domestic violence issues, individuals should be aware that harassment through social media is not allowable. This case could have an impact on similar court issues in Colorado and across the nation, as more and more judges begin to acknowledge the role that social media plays in today's society.

Source:, "The State of Facebook and Family Law", Chandra Moss, April 5, 2016

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