Compliance Management, Privacy

Judge grants father in custody case access to ex-wife’s Facebook profile

In a decision that may turn child custody cases on their ear in New York and could have privacy implications down the road for social media users, a Westchester County Supreme Court justice ruled recently that a father locked in a custody battle with his ex-wife could use her Facebook profile to prove that she didn't spend as much time with their son as she claimed.

Psychiatrist Christine Antoine unfriended her husband Anthony DiMartino when they split up so her Facebook profile is private she told the court after DiMartino pressed for access to prove “that it is he, not she, who has spent the majority of time with the child during the past four years” as his legal documents stated , according to a report in the New York Post.

While the Post noted that no previous rulings in child custody cases compelled access to Facebook pages, DiMartino prevailed when Justice Lawrence Ecker ruled that Antoine's social media profile could offer evidence of time spent with the couple's child, which “may be relevant and material to its ultimate determination of custody.”

In a post on its website, law firm Majeski Law LLC in Minnesota - a state where the Post said a judge has sometimes let parties used social media in custody cases - warned, “There is no reasonable expectation of privacy on social media.”

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