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Facebook in the Family Law Realm

Date:
By Kasey Stewart
Category: Family Law

 

With 1.4 billion monthly active users it is little wonder that evidence gathered on Facebook appears in around one third of all Family Law matters.

If you are going through a relationship breakdown or dispute then you should be very careful about how you and others use your Facebook profile.

Facebook posts, be it status updates, private messages or posts to private groups can, and do, have a way of finding their way into family law proceedings.

Common problem posts and comments:

  1. "He is a hopeless father", "She is such a loser", "OMG I hate him so much"

    One of the Courts obligations is to consider the relationship of the parents and their ability to facilitate and encourage a relationship between the other party and the child. These sorts of comments hardly give that impression.

    If the matter is already in Court, one of the most common Orders that a Court will make is a "non-denigration order", that is that neither party shall denigrate the other in the presence or hearing of the child/ren. If your child is your friend on Facebook (not recommended) then this would constitute a breach of that Order.

  2. The drunken night out

    A Picture speaks a thousand words! While one boozy photo of you will not sink your case, it is unlikely to assist it. Boozy photos become more relevant if there are accusations of drinking to excess. If you are snapped in drunken poses regularly this may go to establishing a pattern of behavior.

    A word of advice - if you have Facebook on your smart phone, delete the App before you leave home. This will remove the temptation to write anything about your former partner on Facebook and allow you some time to reconsider the photos that you post or comments you make. You should also ask your friends not to post any photos of you without your (sober) approval.

  3. "That Judge is an idiot"

    You can rest assured if you post this on Facebook, it will become evidence in your case and the Judge will not be impressed. Keep your opinions about the Judge to yourself.

    Before you press send, a good rule to apply is "Do I want a Judge to read this" . Don’t assume that your "Facebook friends" are just your friends. The chances are that at least one of your "friends" is better friends with your former partner than they are with you, and your posts will end up in the hands of a Judge.