While still relatively rare, the use of social media evidence in divorce cases is becoming more and more common. In the last five years, content from social networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs have been used in family law cases to help resolve disputes. In order to reach a settlement, the process of family law takes into account a person’s lifestyle, including social behaviour, spending habits, capability as a parent, employment history, and financial standing. The way a person conducts themselves on social media may reveal stark contrasts to what they have claimed to their solicitor or ex, resulting in complications to their divorce case.
Much like a prospective employer might do a quick Google search on an interviewee to make sure they are suitable for the role and haven’t been lying on their CV, your ex may well be ‘social-stalking’ you to keep tabs on what you’ve been up to. And any questionable content that conflicts with your legal statements may land you in hot water, for example:
- If one partner claimed they were struggling with finances but recently posted a photo of an expensive new car or holiday pictures onto Twitter
- If one partner denied threatening behaviour but sent aggressive messages via Facebook to their ex
- If one partner was accused of unfaithfulness and social media messages proved they had been flirting or meeting with another person
- If one partner’s behaviour on social media demonstrated they were unfit to look after their children in a custody case, for example: proof of drug use
- There has even been a case in which a husband posted pictures of his recent wedding on Facebook… before he had actually divorced his first wife!
When it comes to separation and divorce, it’s always best to be honest with your solicitor and your ex to avoid delays and extra costs. And when it comes to social media, our advice is to stay well away from it during the divorce process. Although it’s unlikely that social media content would be used against you in court, it’s better all round to keep your private life private while going through such a personal experience. Why complicate the situation and run the risk of your ex using something innocuously posted on Facebook against you? Remember that the internet is a public place – anything you post can be seen and saved for eternity! Utilise privacy settings and your own discretion. And don’t post anything that might haunt you in the future…Tags: divorce advice, divorce lawyer Thames Valley, divorce solicitor Henley, divorce solicitor Marlow, social media and divorce