Would You Give Your Ex Your Facebook Password?
Perhaps it’s human nature, but most people who go through a marital separation or divorce will do their best to limit the information that their now-former spouses are privy to, when it comes to their post-split personal lives. In fact, common relationship and break-up advice suggests that former spouses should actively and immediately “block” each other from social media sites like Facebook, so that neither can have glimpse at what the other is doing after the split.
Part of it arises from privacy concerns, but part of it may arise from a sense of protectiveness around giving the other person “dirt” that they can use in any Family proceedings that are later sparked by the breakdown of the relationship.
As I have written numerous times in the past, when former spouses are embroiled in litigation to untangle their financial affairs, and to deal with the custody of and access to any children, their respective posts on Facebook can inadvertently become the source of evidence.
So it may come as a surprise that a few years ago a judge in Connecticut ordered a former couple to divulge their Facebook, eHarmony and Match.com passwords to each other during their divorce proceedings. The judge had granted the order based on the husband’s evidence that the wife’s Facebook posts and photos raised issues about her ability to care for their children. When the wife relinquished her password but then arranged for a friend to start deleting any incriminating posts, the judge added an injunction to prevent her from doing so.
The judge’s order also enjoined either spouse from “visit[ing] the website of the other’s social network and posting messages purporting to be the other.”
It’s an unusual ruling, and one that will give many people pause:
Would you really want a former romantic partner to have access to your Facebook or dating site passwords?
What are your thoughts?