social networking Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Social media’s impact on divorce

Chad Jerome discusses social media and divorceFor millions of people, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer a convenient way to maintain connections and get in touch with old friends. But when going through a divorce, social media can present a minefield of potential pitfalls.

Cordell & Cordell Albany divorce attorney Chad Jerome recently appeared on FOX23 Albany to discuss social media’s impact on divorce and some of the common mistakes that are made. More than anything, Jerome said, users need to assume that nothing they send or post is private.  [Read more…]

Social networking smarts a plus during divorce

In a world where communicating via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites is seemingly as commonplace as eating and breathing, it can be easy to share innermost feelings and frustrations for the world to see. However, adults must be careful not to share too much information online, as these posts could work against them in divorce or child support cases.

According to a Florida divorce lawyer, posts regarding certain activities like buying expensive new gadgets, cars or other toys can hurt one’s legal argument that he or she cannot afford alimony or child support. In addition, Facebook posts can also hinder someone looking for spousal support.

To combat these issues, adults can censor themselves from online over-sharing. For added security, social networking sites offer privacy settings that can be adjusted to include everyone online or just a few trusted friends. Adults going through divorces are encouraged to keep their social networking as secure as possible.

PC World reminds social networking members to use caution. A new feature on Facebook allows “check ins” that show the places a person has been and who they were with. This feature can be disabled, however.

Facebook increases divorce rate among adults

That “poke” may not be as innocent as you think.

Recent studies suggest that the prominence of social networking websites may be leading to a higher rate of divorce among Americans aged 50 or over. Experts believe that adults approaching retirement age may have been unprepared for a technological revolution that allows them to reconnect with long-lost friends or lovers, according to Bloomberg.

Divorce lawyers have confirmed the trend. In a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81 percent of surveyed divorce attorneys said the number of cases they have involving social networking sites has increased over the last five years. Facebook was the main culprit, with 66 percent of lawyers saying the popular website was the main source of online divorce evidence among their clients.

Nancy Kalish, a professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, told Bloomberg that social network websites may lead to an “accidental affair,” a term she said refers to individuals who don’t initially set out to have a physical or emotional relationship outside of their marriage. In addition, Kalish stressed that some of these people would not have strayed if the Internet had not made it possible to easily connect with others.

“They still bear responsibility for the affairs, of course; no one made them write, call or meet in a hotel room,” Kalish said. “But these are probably people who would not have cheated years ago, even with a lost love.”

About 3.4 out of every 1,000 U.S. marriages end in divorce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nevada had the highest divorce rate in the nation in 2009, followed by Arkansas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Dangers Of Using Facebook During Divorce

Divorce lawyers nationwide are heeding the advice of Cordell & Cordell attorneys and warning clients to stay off Facebook and other social media when going through a divorce, according to the St. Charles Suburban Journal.

The paper interviewed Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell about one of “The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce“: revealing too much on the Internet.

“Our average person could not afford to hire a private detective to run around willy-nilly in the hope that over several days he might stumble upon something,” Cordell told the paper. “Now you have a relatively low-paid clerk who is a crack user of the Internet. They can go in and find things that even the lawyers can’t find.”

Cordell said one of the first things Cordell & Cordell lawyers want to know from their clients is how they and their soon-to-be-ex use the Internet.

Cordell gave examples of the dangers of posting damaging information online:

A wife posts online that since her ex, named Sam, has been ordered to continue to pay the mortgage and utilities she’s opened the windows and run the air conditioning during the summer.

“She wrote that she was paying for it with her ‘Sam’s card,'” he said.

Another woman who swears in court she doesn’t drink posts a photo of herself with a child in one arm and a bottle of Jose Cuervo in the other.

Judges are not pleased when this information is brought to light, and family law judges have far-reaching latitude in the information they review, Cordell & Cordell attorney Kristin Zurek said.

Cordell also warned about those who try to trick their spouses by setting up fake profiles to glean insider information.

“If you think that in family court the end justifies the means, you’re wrong,” Cordell says. “Judges, quite frankly, are interested in the means.”

Read more: No need for a private eye; divorce combatants post damaging info themselves

Facebook Status Alters Custody Agreement

St. Petersburg Times — One law firm has had enough.

Back in the dark ages, like 2005, lawyers had to spend money, time and effort to glean juicy morsels for their cases. A basic custody battle could mean a maze of private investigators, subpoenas and conversations with neighbors.

Now it’s like this: Open browser. Click. Gasp. Print.

“Clients who have participated in social media have become much more vulnerable,” said Joseph Cordell, partner in national law firm Cordell & Cordell. “You have access to inner thoughts and frank conversations that in the past were virtually unheard of.”

GPS tracking features on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare help when people take their children on the run, said Cordell, whose firm has an office in Tampa. One client’s ex-wife had moved her children to eight different locations, he said.

But pictures are the biggest tell. One woman showed up online snorting cocaine off of a key, he said. Another held a bottle of Grey Goose vodka in one hand and a baby in the other.

During one custody battle, a mother posted photos of her children. A friend commented.

The children don’t look much like him.

The mother replied.

That’s because they’re not his.

Read more: Facebook flubs make for salacious divorce case.