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Facebook profile used in custody battle for the first time

Those involved in the legal profession in Pennsylvania are probably already aware that a judge in New York is allowing a Facebook profile into evidence for a child custody case. While social media sites like Facebook have been used in court cases before, this use of a Facebook profile may be unprecedented.

A Westchester County Supreme Court judge held that a father could provide the Facebook profile page of his ex-wife as evidence that her claims of how she cares for the couple's 4-year-old boy are exaggerated. The father contends that he has spent more time with the child in the past four years while using the woman's Facebook page to show evidence of her traveling and vacationing in places like Boston and Italy.

The attorney representing the father in this case reports that his client is a social worker and the primary caregiver for his son. The judge allowed the Facebook page evidence because the amount of time spent with each party could be relevant to the judge's custody ruling. The woman said that her Facebook page is private and that she removed her ex as a Facebook friend, but she must now submit her Facebook login information to the court.

While things posted on social media are not admissible in all court situations, judges consider a number of factors when making child custody decisions. Generally, the courts want both parents to have a relationship with their child because this is considered to be best for the child. This might mean that parents share custody or that one parent receives visitation rights. Those who are in the process of a divorce and who are making child custody arrangements may decide to consult an attorney for guidance.

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