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Insights

Facebook can, however, mean trouble for family law litigants if they are not aware of the law and the implications of inappropriate use.

Our strong advice is to firstly consider whether in fact you need your social media accounts when involved in family law proceedings. If you cannot bear to part with your daily ‘scroll fix’, then we ask clients to carefully consider the following:

  1. Change all of your internet-based passwords, including email and other social media accounts to prevent prying eyes from accessing your personal information. This is important even if you do not believe your ex-partner knows those passwords,
  2. Think about what you are posting. What immediately comes to mind is the famous saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. The general rule here is, if you wouldn’t want your Family Court judge reading it, don’t post it!
  3. Assess and clean up your Facebook ‘friends’ list – you may come to find that some of these ‘friends’ will not always remain so friendly when they see something that could be used against you in your family law plight,
  4. Learn how to control your privacy settings,
  5. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, and can often be taken out of context by an ex-partner looking to paint you in a particular light,
  6. Finally, perfect the art of “screen-shotting”. With some luck your ex-partner may not have read this article.

Today there are countless Facebook posts and pictures appearing as annexures to family law affidavits in a bid to discredit a party and provide evidence, for example, that a party was somewhere they weren’t supposed to be on a particular day, or how a party may be incapable of promoting the other parent in parenting matters by comments made or posts shared on Facebook.

You should also know that it is an offence to publish any material that may identify a party or child to family law proceedings under the Family Law Act.

Basically it comes down to the fact that your family law proceedings should remain in the family law courts, and not on Facebook.  If you have gotten yourself into a sticky Facebook situation, or are experiencing family law issues in general, come and see one of our experienced family law solicitors today.