Social Media and Family Court

Many people are on one social media platform or another these days. People are generally cautious about what they post as far as how they will be viewed in professional aspects of life, but very few people keep an eye on how they will be viewed in a dissolution of marriage or parentage case based upon how they post. More and more often, social media is being utilized in parentage and dissolution of marriage cases. The relevance is always something which will be called into question in these matters. Illinois is a no-fault state, so secret conversations with others alluding to unfaithfulness probably aren’t relevant in a dissolution of marriage case. However, it may make settlement with the opposing party a bit more difficult.

Facebook must be getting a lot of subpoenas in family court matters, because they have an option now to download an entire “archive” of your facebook profile, including but not limited to your posts, photographs, messenger conversations with other people, and the like. This, presumably, keeps Facebook from having to respond to subpoena requests for documents and information, because parties could technically try to force one another to turn over their “archive” of information. Relevancy becomes the issue. Does a facebook post necessarily prove whether or not someone is a fit parent? Does it prove how money was spent? It seems like production of Facebook records may produce a lot of hearsay information which isn’t all that useful. However, it can also be a very effective tool for litigating matters where social media accounts become relevant.