Whether we like it or not, social media plays a major part in our daily lives. Facebook and Instagram can be useful tools for communicating with your ex or sharing photos of your children. However, if you have ongoing proceedings in the Family Court then you should always be aware that what you share online can make its way into the courtroom and this can have disastrous consequences.
When can my social media presence damage my own case?
It is an offence to identify parties to a family law case. Remember those drunken photos you posted to Instagram while you were out with your friends on Friday night? Or the angry status you posted on Facebook after you found out that your ex cheated on you? Or that story you posted on Snapchat where you ranted about the recent court hearing in your matter?
These posts might not be so bad in context, but once they’re annexed to an affidavit and presented to the court, they can be seen as a breach of the confidentially rules and evidence of your character and capacity to parent, no matter how #SorryNotSorry you are.
Doing something as simple as updating your LinkedIn with your new job or posting a picture of your new #TreatYourself purchase can be hazardous if you post it before first disclosing it to your ex!
How do I use social media responsibly during a family law dispute?
- Respect the rules of confidentiality and don’t identify parties to a case.
- Think before you click – don’t use social media to blow off steam or comment on Court proceedings. Better yet, consider staying off social media until your matter is resolved.
- When in doubt, don’t – if you think there’s even the smallest chance that a post could be misinterpreted and land you in hot water with your ex or the Court, then don’t post it.
- Update your privacy settings – whether you’re an Instagram influencer or an infrequent Facebooker, it is always best to try and minimise your presence during Family Court proceedings.
Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice and every case turns on its own unique facts. If you would like to obtain legal advice about family law matters, please contact Kavanagh Lawyers on 08 6557 5888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.