Skip to Content

Call Us - Problem Solved

Use of Facebook Sting in Child Custody Battle Backfires

July 13, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Family Law

Often, New Jersey family lawyers come across cases involving parents in custody disputes from other states, and these often provide examples for the kind of behavior we would advise our clients to avoid.  A woman who posed as a 17-year-old girl on Facebook to entrap her husband and prove him an unfit parent would fall in that category. 

The woman, Angela Voelkert, had been engaged in a custody battle with her ex-husband, David.  To prove that he was not fit to gain custody of the child, she created a fake profile of a 17-year-old girl under the alias Jessica Studebaker.  She then added her ex-husband as a friend and began an online relationship with the man.  Soon, she was privy to her ex-husband's most personal thoughts and feelings, including his opinions about her, his ex-wife.

During these moments of online kinship, her ex-husband confided to her fake persona that he had placed a GPS tracking device in his ex-wife’s car to track her movements.  He also told her that he had “plans” for his ex-wife.

The woman passed on that information to the relevant authorities, and the FBI soon arrested her ex-husband.

It actually gets worse.  According to David, he had known all along that his newfound 17-year-old friend on Facebook was actually his ex-wife trying to entrap him.  He had gotten himself an affidavit signed by a notary soon after he began the conversation with “Jessica Studebaker,” saying that he was aware that the person he was chatting with was not a real person, but his ex-wife, or someone she knew.  According to the affidavit, he was engaging in a conversation with this person to gain proof that she was an unfit parent.

The case was dismissed.

It's the number one piece of advice that New Jersey family lawyers would offer anyone considering a divorce, engaged in a Child custody battle or any other family law matter: Shut down your Facebook or Twitter account and stay offline as long as your legal matter is not resolved.


The New Jersey divorce lawyers and family law attorneys at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman help people dealing with issues of divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence, paternity, visitation rights and more

Call Us - Problem Solved

Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Time is of the Essence

Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.