It’s becoming more and more common for incriminating evidence taken from social media accounts to feature in family court proceedings. I would urge anyone going through a break up to be extremely careful when using social media before, during and even after any court proceedings.
A recent survey in the UK showed that one in seven people had considered divorce because of social media. This is clearly a worrying trend.
The common scenarios reported were: people feeling that their partners were spending too much time on social media; or one partner’s suspicions were aroused by photos they’d seen of their partner; or finding out that their partner had been in contact with an ex via social media.
Once the relationship actually breaks down everyone needs to be even more careful about how they use social media. It’s essential to be well informed about what you should and should not do on these accounts because information can easily be obtained and used against you. This is perhaps even more pronounced in Jersey due to the tight social network.
The do’s and don’ts when using social media during a family dispute
- Don’t say anything on social media you wouldn’t say to your mother or grandmother’s face.
- Remember that anything posted on social media can be archived or printed. Once posted it will be there for ever even if it’s deleted.
- Don’t engage in angry conversations on social media (or over text) as these exchanges may well be cited later.
- Even if you are receiving nasty comments from your partner, remain calm and remember it is always better not to say anything in return no matter how tempting it is.
- Possibly the most important tip is don’t ever post on social media after a drink as you will almost certainly regret it in the morning. It is far better to sleep on it before replying; in the harsh light of day there will be more care and less emotion.
- Think carefully about even posting happy information, perhaps to demonstrate to an ex that life is great. Do not risk it, as this may have a detrimental effect on your case.
- Be really cautious about what photographs you post. This particularly applies to seemingly innocent holiday snaps. These may be used as evidence of an affair, evidence that you are cohabiting or even evidence that you have more resources than you have disclosed.
- Beware of giving out any information about spending money as this can be used to show that you have spare funds that should be going towards your partner or children.
- Do however make sure that you save conversations, messages and comments if you feel they may be useful or helpful to your case.
- Do keep all of your accounts separate and secure to ensure that there is no possibility of your partner accessing your private information. It is advisable to change your passwords.
- Finally, whatever you do, don’t share any details of your relationship breakdown online, even with close friends or family members.
We are well versed in advising people in family law. If you want to discuss anything here further feel free to contact me.