The old adage in academia among tenured professors often is “publish or perish.” That said, there is good reason why they are not practicing attorneys today. Case in point: when it comes to social media and divorce – Facebook in particular – almost every lawyer will spin things in a different way. “Publish and then perish” is what a growing number of divorce attorneys will preach to their clients. Remaining active on Facebook and other social media sites during a high-conflict divorce or child custody battle can have big consequences. Facebook is almost as universally used as email, making it a leading form of communication, and the courts have taken notice.
Big Developments between Social Media and Divorce
After failing for years to locate her husband and serve him with divorce papers, a New York judge allowed a woman to go online – use Facebook – to have him served. Click HERE to read the story as reported by CNN.
Before gaining approval to take to the internet, Ellanora Arthur Baidoo had to prove to Judge Matthew Cooper that the Facebook account was in fact her husband’s and that he frequently accessed and used it, meaning that he would see the divorce papers.
CNN reported that Judge Cooper said the following in his ruling: “advent and ascendency of social media,” means sites like Facebook and Twitter are the “next frontier” as “forums through which a summons can be delivered.”
Misuse of social media sites like Facebook also can lead to violation of protective orders, as evidenced by a case last summer in Pennsylvania in which a man was arraigned on contempt of court charges after he liked over 20 of his former girlfriend’s pictures on Facebook. If that were not enough, the man took it a step further and proceeded to further violate his protective order after he told the victim that he would “shoot her knee cap to watch her suffer.” Click HERE to read the reported story.
What Else You Need to be Aware of with Social Media and Divorce
Attorneys and private investigators are watching your every social media move. Why? When it comes to divorce and child custody, there is a lot at stake, meaning it is imperative to look into any and every possible and potential legal advantage. Negligence on Facebook or any other social media site is something that can result in dire consequences and you not getting your desired outcome. The best and safest rule of thumb is to probably get off the social media grid until your legal issues have been resolved.
Experience the Fry & Elder Difference
Whether you have questions about the connections between social media and divorce or any other legal issue, the experienced and accomplished trial lawyers of Fry & Elder are here to help navigate you through the process.
Fry & Elder has distinguished itself both locally and nationally as a premier law firm. The U.S. News & World Report has selected Fry & Elder to its exclusive list of Best Law Firms from 2014-2016. Iconic Tulsa divorce lawyer Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr., is one of just 19 attorneys in the state Oklahoma to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was also named as the Lawyer of the Year for Family Law in Tulsa for 2016 by Best Lawyers®.
Fellow Fry & Elder partners M. Shane Henry and Aaron D. Bundy, along with trial lawyer T. Luke Barteaux have each been honored as Super Lawyers® Rising Stars™. The firm’s team of accomplished trial lawyers also features Lorena Rivas, who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), while Katie Egan is licensed to practice in Oklahoma, New York and Connecticut. Melissa Fell rounds out the staff of attorneys. Her practice focuses on taking a “concierge attorney” approach.
Contact Fry & Elder today to set up a personal consultation with a proven and accomplished Tulsa trial lawyer.