St. Petersburg, Florida - A St. Petersburg attorney says Facebook and social media are used in 90 percent of her divorce cases.
"You get a little bit of everything that happens on Facebook," said Carin Constantine.
"Everything from clients coming in with pictures of the opposing party doing a keg stand with high schoolers... to teenagers drinking alcohol served by a parent... to a picture of a husband at a nightclub dancing with a babysitter."
A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that Facebook is cited in one in five divorces in the United States. Also, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported a rising number of people are using social media to engage in affairs.
"There are times when my paralegal and I sit in this office and laugh because people are stupid. They put things out there on the internet that can last forever," Constantine said.
Divorce attorneys are becoming internet gurus. Because websites like Yahoo and Google cache images as soon as they're put online, Constantine says she can find pictures from Facebook accounts that have been deactivated.
She simply goes to www.images.google.com, types in the person's name and searches through every single page of returns.
"Those pictures are still accessible by us, and we can still print them and we can still use them as evidence in your divorce case," Constantine said. And that printed piece of paper can be attached to a motion within the hour.
The best advice, aside from deactivating your Facebook account, is asking friends and family not to post any pictures of you online, even if they don't tag you.
"The problem is, if you've got 400 friends, I assure you one of those friends [doesn't] have all the privacy settings correct," she explained.
And she, along with thousands of other lawyers, can find it.
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