Think Before You Post – Social Media Postings and Family Law

20/02/2018

In the last few years it has become increasingly common in matters coming before the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to use social media postings such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as evidence; this may be helpful but can also be harmful.  When using these instantaneous methods of communication one needs to be aware that what they write, say and post are an excellent source of evidence for use in Family Court proceedings.

Sending texts or email communications to your former partner or spouse is the same as sending them a letter.  All the communications that pass between the parties can be used as evidence in the Court proceedings.  A picture speaks volumes.  A Judge is likely to read what has been posted as part of the evidence before the Court.  Pictures or photographs posted to Facebook are one source of evidence of lifestyle and behaviour that can impact on Family Law proceedings for example, in parenting/custody matters.

Rude or derogatory comments about your partner or spouse can show that your attitude to responsibilities such as parenting, is poor.

Bragging about drinking and partying can affect how a Judge might perceive your character be insofar as your parenting responsibilities are concerned.

Pictures of your social activities, talent and/or overseas holiday may show you have a higher income then was thought.

What you do and say and post in social media can affect the outcome of a Court case.  You should assume that your former partner or spouse will use social media postings against you.

  • Do not send rude or abusive texts to your partner.
  • Do not allow yourself to be photographed in compromising situations.
  • Be careful what pictures you post.
  • Do not post derogatory, demeaning or degrading comments about your ex partner or anyone.
  • Be aware of who might be looking at what you post.
  • Do not use social media to start a war of words with your ex-partner. 
  • Do not mention Court proceedings on social media. 

Prudence should always utilised when it comes to posting on social media as the consequences of posting without discretion can have a negative and far reaching impact on the outcome of your case.

Should you have any concerns or queries in this regard please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson Family Law Solicitor or his assistant Shereen Da Gloria to discuss your concerns.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 02 9221 6011.

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