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Child custody case uses social media data

As Ohio residents may know, information about the time a parent spends with a child before divorce has implications on child custody. In a case in New York, a judge ruled that a mother's Facebook page could be used as evidence to substantiate claims made by the father. This use of social media as supporting evidence may pave the way for how other divorce and custody cases are handled.

While courts consider all factors that pertain to a child's best interests when making a custody decision, the parent who was the prominent caregiver during the marriage generally has a strong case for gaining custody. In this particular case, the father petitioned the court to use his wife's Facebook entries to prove his claims that he had cared for their 4-year-old son more than his ex-wife did in the past four years. The father works as a social worker, and the Facebook pages allegedly show his ex-wife vacationing in such places as Boston and Milan.

The mother contends that the father was no longer listed as a friend on her Facebook page. In addition, she explained that she did not foresee this attempt to use her Facebook page as plausible, since it had not been done in New York in the past. The judge has given the mother until Sept. 14 to turn over her sign-in information to the court.

As the use of social media in custody cases may become more common, an individual who is involved in a child custody dispute might wish to enlist the help of an attorney who can help them navigate the process of uncovering information. Proving claims in such disputes requires due diligence on the part of petitioners. An attorney's advice and procedural acumen might be beneficial in achieving child custody.

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