The Case of the Misguided Private Eye


Dear Jennifer: I’m at my wit’s end with my husband, and I am about to file for divorce. My question is this… Over the last year or so my husband has apparently been hiding many of his Facebook posts from me that show really inappropriate behavior. I’ve had friends and acquaintances print out Facebook posts that I think shows what a sorry person and bad dad he has become to our 3-year-old son. They’ve printed out a huge batch of posts showing things like pictures of his drinking binges and drug use to inappropriate conversations with other women. Will a judge consider this evidence or will the fact that it came from Facebook posts cause it to get thrown out? I’ve talked to a private eye who told me that he could do “old school” surveillance and that he thinks info from places like Facebook is overrated and usually inadmissible. Is he right? 

Snooping in Shelby

Dear Snooping:

First let me say that I hate that you’re forced to deal with this. It is bad enough to suspect someone of doing rotten things during your marriage but even more painful when it’s spelled out in black and white. Although I obviously haven’t seen the evidence you have firsthand, based on what you’re telling me, it sounds like you have been getting some things that could very well be admissible in court.  Perhaps our PI friend is living in the past or maybe he just needed the business, either way I think he may be misguided. These days, Facebook and social media posts are often used as evidence in a divorce or custody matter. Because you have so much social media evidence of behavior that is detrimental to your child, I think at this point it would be best to consult with an attorney who can review the evidence you have firsthand.  Any good attorney should know how valuable these social media posts could be to a case and how to use them to your advantage. As to the private investigator, an investigator can certainly be valuable depending on what they discover; however, I would recommend finding one who is up to date on the latest technologies before spending your hard earned dollars. Now it is true that your lawyer will have some evidentiary burdens to overcome in order for this evidence to be admissible in court; however, all evidence has to follow certain rules in order to be admitted. At the end of the day, I would tell your friends to keep printing those posts while you find yourself a good attorney.

1Jennifer G. Rose is the founder and lead attorney at The Rose Law Firm LLC. One of only a handful of certified family law specialists in the state, Jennifer and her firm have won dozens of awards for their work in the field. Those wishing to reach her may call 205-323-1124 24 hours a day or visit rosefamilylaw.com. Her firm gives complimentary initial consultations in person.

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