Even in the most amicable divorces, there are secrets. Couples who have decided to part ways can be protective of their assets, their children and of the very information that may have caused the split in the first place.
This week a judge demanded that one divorcing husband and wife share with each other the login information to their social media accounts, including Facebook and online dating sites such as Match.com. At stake was a battle for child custody.
The demand came about after the husband discovered some incriminating information about his wife on their shared computer that might have boosted his chances of receiving full custody of their children. That led him to demand access to the rest of her online activity.
His wife agreed, but not before signaling to a friend to go through her accounts and excise any possibly damaging information. But a judge intervened and ordered an injunction: Neither the husband nor the wife would be able to delete any more info from their social networking sites, and they were required to hand over their passwords to each other. If the couple had secrets there before, they were blown wide open by the judge.
Facebook and other social media sites are facing increasing blame for causing rifts in marriages, and in some divorce proceedings, they provide a source of evidence of infidelity and other transgressions. What makes this case unique is that instead of a lawyer using that evidence to get his client a better alimony or child support settlement, a judge has leveled the playing field for both clients.
Source: NYDailyNews.com, "Divorcing couple ordered by judge to hand over Facebook, Match.com passwords," Lindsay Goldwert, Nov. 9, 2011