Date: Mon 04 Mar 2019

Social Media in family Courts!

Are you involved in family Court proceedings? Maybe the Court is dealing with your financial settlement following a divorce or separation, or perhaps you are going through a children dispute. Have you ever wondered whether your social media posts might be shown to the Judge by your ex?

People pour their heart out on social media and it is used by many as an emotional vent. A lot of us will have at least a handful of friends who share every minute detail of their lives on social media.

So on separation from a partner, most people will remember to change their relationship status to single (unless tactically it is better not to) and disconnect with their ex on social media. But is that enough to stop an ex from peering at your social media content? Perhaps not, as inevitably you and ex will have mutual social media connections and be part of some of the same social media networks and this may lead your ex to still know more about your social media activity than you would like. A mutual friend might post a photo of you that you had much rather that they had not!

As the popularity of social media has continued to gain, so has the impact of social media in family proceedings. It is now not unusual for parties in family proceedings to rely on social media content and to print and exhibit it to their statements so that the Judge sees it. Your content on social media cannot truly be considered to be private. Complaining about your ex on social media or using offensive language about them has its obvious pitfalls and risks if simultaneously you are going through family court proceedings.

Social media has also in recent years been a mechanism to locate a party to family proceedings that might not otherwise be found such as in child abduction proceedings. In a child abduction case that was considered by the Supreme Court, social media posts by a teenager were even relied on to show her state of mind in relation to her own habitual residence.

So the power of social media seems far reaching. Social media can be a mixed blessing when people are involved in family proceedings. Adjust privacy settings and think before you post might be a sensible message!

Note: The content of this post is for information purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances.

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