Twitter Archives | Cordell & Cordell

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.

Facebook and Divorce – Time Magazine

Time Magazine examines the phenomenon of social networking as it applies to divorce. Reporter Belinda Luscome quoted DadsDivorce.com founder and Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joseph Cordell about Facebook and divorce.

“It’s now just routine for us to go over with clients whether they have an active presence on the Web and if they Twitter, Facebook or have a MySpace page,” Cordell said.

He advises his mostly male clients to scour their page — and their girlfriend’s — for anything that could be used by their ex’s legal team. Then Cordell studies the page of the soon-to-be ex-wife.

“We had a custody case where a mom assured the court that she hadn’t been drinking,” recalls the Missouri-based attorney. “But her MySpace page had actual dated photos of her drinking — and smoking.”

In another case, a mom had listed herself on a dating site as single with no kids, which Cordell’s firm used to cast doubt on her truthfulness.

Read more about how Facebook affects divorce.