The Impacts of Social Media On Family Law
With technology quickly becoming more and more of an integral part of our lives, the use of social media is rapidly on the rise. Although it may seem like a harmless way to share photos and other material on these platforms, it could also be quite detrimental to court proceedings within Family Law.
It is vital to remember that if you are involved in a Family Law dispute that anything you post or share to social media can be used as evidence against you in Court. Although it may be extremely tempting to vent and use social media as a way to express your frustrations about relationship breakdowns or a former partner, this can act as an extreme hindrance if you are involved in a Family Law Case. It should also be noted that anything you post on social media can have an impact on your children later in their life, even if the shared content isn’t directly about them.
“…anything you post or share to social media can be used as evidence against you in Court.”
From posting photos of children online that one parent may not necessarily wish to be shared on social media, to slandering a former partner on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, these factors can heavily affect compulsory mediation between both parties. On top of this, messages of a threatening or slanderous nature are frequently being used as evidence for one party to seek an Apprehended Violence Order against the other.
In addition, the law prohibits an individual from publishing any information that identifies another individual who is involved in the parenting proceedings. In this case, the court has the right to use screenshots to prove when an Order made by the Court has been breached. Although it may seem simple enough to delete comments or messages of harassment, once something has been posted online, it is virtually there forever.
“..once something has been posted online, it is virtually there forever..”
As with everything that gets posted online, posts are quite often open to interpretation, meaning one party may not take away the same meaning the original poster intended for a post. This can lead to further disagreements between parties, which can lead to a more hostile environment when entering court proceedings or mediation.
It is imperative that this information is considered if there is a possibility for change to your circumstances, especially when it comes to families. Social media should never be used to defame another individual, and anything that is posted online can be used in Court as evidence against you and can heavily affect court proceedings.
Cappello Rowe will be holding a Family Law Seminar in our Narellan Office in March, where content from this article will be discussed in further detail.