In what may become a controversial decision, a Connecticut judge has ordered lawyers representing a divorcing couple to exchange passwords to their clients’ Facebook and dating websites.
As reported in the Forbes blog The Not-So Private Parts, Judge Kenneth Schluger ordered the password exchange in the divorce of Stephen and Courtney Gallion. The judge's September 30 order states that the exchange should be carried out by the lawyers, and neither spouse may post messages purporting to be the other.
Stephen Gallion is asking for full custody of the parties' children. He believes, according to his lawyer, Gary Traystman, that the social networking accounts will provide evidence about Courtney Gallion’s ability to take care of their children.
In a recent New Jersey case, a judge ruled that a woman could be prosecuted for identity theft for allegedly creating a fake Facebook profile for her ex-boyfriend and posting inflammatory comments about him online. Alledgedly, she posted comments about her ex-boyfriend, a northern New Jersey narcotics detective, to the effect that he had herpes, frequented prostitutes and was "high" all the time. The lesson there ought to be be that spitefulness may be a poor way of handling domestic relations issues. Read NJ Woman Can Be Prosecuted Over Fake Facebook Profile, Judge Rules in the ABA online Journal.
Earlier posts on this Blog about how Facebook accounts and other social media may impact divorcing couples may be read here. See, especially this one: "Facebook & MySpace | Is it ethical for lawyers tell clients to change, delete?"
Read the Forbes blog, The Not-So Private Parts, "Judge Orders Divorcing Couple to Swap Facebook and Dating Site Passwords" here.
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