Posts Tagged ‘MySpace’

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I have said it before and I will say it again, be careful what you share on Facebook.  More attorneys are using what you post on your Facebook page in custody and divorce matters.  Even in the UK, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says that around 81% of its members have had to deal with — or have themselves used — evidence from social media sources, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  And a UK site reported that the word “Facebook” alone appeared in around 20% of its cases last year.

Citing Facebook posts, one mom lost custody of her kids because she was playing FarmVille or World of Warcraft when she claimed to be spending time with them.  A husband who denied anger management issues but spouted to the world, complete with violent threats on his Facebook profile, also lost custody of his children.

Judges don’t have many compunctions about admitting such evidence, the reigning wisdom being that it’s difficult to impossible to make a fraudulent entry of some kind on a user’s Facebook page.  I have personally seen MySpace accounts used in juvenile dependency matters to substantiate the county’s claims that a parent was involved in gang related activities, enabling the county to terminate parental rights.

So, if you don’t want your significant other using things against you in a custody or divorce matter, start being a responsible adult and don’t post the stuff that shows you in a less than flattering way to the world.

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After trying to crack down on teenage sexting by charging offenders with felony child-porn offenses, states are rethinking their approach. Perhaps, some argue, a split-second decision made by an impulsive teen mind should not carry the risk of decades on a sex-offender registry. Nebraska, Utah, and Vermont all changed their laws last year to reduce severity of the penalties in recognition of the sexualized culture that pervades sites like MySpace and Facebook. Fourteen other states are considering new laws that would treat underage sexters differently from adult child pornographers. On Wednesday, a federal appellate court found that a district attorney had gone too far pushing to bring child-porn charges against some 16-year-old girls who sent pictures of themselves in skimpy clothing to peers’ cellphones. Lawyers say such use of the statues have results far from the intent of child-porn laws, which are to protect kids from pedophiles, not severely punish the bad judgment of a high-school student.

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