Pause before you post - social media and family law
October 9, 2016
Family, Social Media
We have all witnessed the enormous increase in the use of social media over recent years. Whilst there are many benefits, there are also many pitfalls. We have all heard about potential employers checking applicant's post and indeed employees who have been dismissed as a result of inappropriate posts.
Coupling the emotions involved in separation or children disputes with the ease of posting on such sites as Facebook or Twitter is a recipe for disaster. Any family lawyer will tell you that copies of postings from such sites are now produced in evidence in countless cases. Given that the outcome of family cases can be life changing there is good reason to avoid being one of those statistics. The author recalls a telling example of a mother losing residence of her child largely as a result of Facebook postings showing she was enjoying living it up with a new partner whilst effectively abandoning her child for several days.
With this background in mind a few guidelines which are food for thought only are set out below:
1. Do not post threats or intimidating comments or you could face police action or an injunction.
2. Remember your privacy settings may be set to friends but your friends could have mutual friends and what we believe is private is often not.
3. Don't post relationship status updates about new relationships in the midst of a divorce as it can complicate matters.
4. Avoid posting about holidays, social events and so on whilst claiming you have limited monies in the midst of financial proceedings or child maintenance disputes.
5. Don't publicise drinking or drug use unless you wish to face potential denial of contact with your children and testing for level of use.
6. Don't post negative comments drawing others into your private emotions.
7. Remember your children may use such sites and may have access to your content possibly indirectly, which could cause them additional upset.
These are but a few examples. In some circumstances it may be worth considering suspension of accounts until proceedings are concluded rather than be drawn into a public battle, which can all too easily snowball out of your control.
If you want to know more about the services we offer or speak to one of our qualified solicitors about any issues about divorce or separation then please contact our team on 01484 821500 or look at our website for helpful information.
You can follow the Ramsdens Family team on twitter @RamsdensFamily.