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Social media ruled admissible in New York custody fight

As New Jersey residents may know, a Facebook profile is being allowed as evidence in a New York custody battle. The father in the case says that his estranged wife's social media page shows that she frequently travels and that he was the main caregiver for the couple's minor child. In response, the mother of the child contends that when the couple separated, she removed her estranged husband from her social media page and that he should not be allowed to use it.

In Westchester County, a judge ruled that the wife's social media page was allowable in court, unlike other states. Minnesota is the only state that has allowed this type of evidence, although not in all cases. According to the judge, the amount of time a parent spends with a child may have a bearing on which parent should be granted custody.

The child's mother maintains that she is the primary caretaker. However, her husband contends that his estranged wife's job as a psychiatrist for various agencies entails extensive travel. Some of the social media postings show the mother in Boston eating at a restaurant, and in Italy while sightseeing. The couple was married for about five years before filing for divorce, citing problems with communication as the reason. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, it may change the way divorce proceedings are handled in other jurisdictions.

A parent who is involved in a child custody dispute may want to obtain the advice of an attorney who has experience in family law matters. Legal counsel can explain to a client the types of evidence that the court hearing the matter will consider.

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