Most divorce cases usually end in the sharing of tangible property: the contrived arguments over who has rightful ownership of what, digging through the obligatory fact that everything is shared to land on a conclusion of individual items. But this is probably the first time where a court case has resulted in the two sides being ordered to share their Facebook passwords.
In a recent court case in Conneticut, the judge ordered Stephen and Courtney Gallion to share all of their passwords after Stephen saw some incriminating things about how his wife felt about their kids, and her ability to care for them, on the couple's shared computer. He felt as if more might be available in all her accounts, and asked the Judge for her passwords.
The Judge agreed, and while Mrs. Gallion was initially fundamentally against the idea (understandably), her lawyers gave her some rather questionable legal advice, saying she should just go with it (this according to Forbes).
This all seems to be rather hilarious; but also rather tragic at the same time, showing the suspicious whimsy that lies behind a Facebook account, and adding a layer of sickening Jenifer Aniston-esque Romantic comedy to the affairs. However, there is an interesting layer to this: it's gone against the usual conventions of a court case in this situation. Typically, with offline information, an alleged discovery like this would result in Courtney and her lawyers being forced to share only related information; but this doesn't seem to be the case with digital data, as Judges seem more willing to let the opposing sides go in and inspect everything.
This could both be a fresh and welcome addition to court affairs and the capturing of evidence for a secure conviction; but also a rather 'wtf' moment, as it doesn't seem entirely right to us.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.