Virginia Family Law: Social Media Dating & Divorce

Our parent's courtship narrative is quickly becoming "obsolete," says David Brooks of the New York Times. For centuries, men and women have wooed each other within a social context that tempered erotic impulses through romantic love, courtship rituals and the possibility of marriage. Social media such a Facebook, MySpace and texting have fundamentally altered the romantic chase; now young people hunting for partners meet through vast, virtual networks of individuals, operating outside traditional social and familial norms. In this world of unlimited and unregulated opportunity, both men and women often maintain several relationships at any one time, before moving on to others. "If you have several options perpetually before you, and if technology makes it easier to jump from one option to another, you will naturally adopt the mentality of a comparison shopper." Using technology to comparison shop for a mate is fine, provided you are not already married. Amazing and useful things (for divorce lawyers) are created each day by married adults posting things on social websites. If you're still holding onto the belief that hitting delete or turning off your machine will make your key strokes magically disappear, you may be surprised (in a very, very bad way). Electronic forensic experts like Sensei Enterprises in Fairfax, Virginia will not be deterred by you "emptying the trash" on your desktop. How you can legally get at information stored on a computer and then use it in a family law matter is an interesting and developing area of the law. If you have questions about electronic evidence and divorce, I would be pleased to speak with you.

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