Be Smart About Social Media When You’re Separated!
By Timothy Henderson | January 25, 2021
You have just broken up with your spouse or common-law partner. You want to tell the world about how terrible you feel and what the other party has done to you or, if you have children, how badly they have treated the children. It may feel good at the time, but that few seconds it takes to post something in the heat of the moment can prove detrimental to your family law case!
In general, it’s important to be extremely careful about posting online, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform. This general rule is even more important when you’re going through a separation, whether you have children or not.
You must assume that any information that you post online will become evidence regarding your family law matter and may well be used by your ex-partner against you to prove their version of events. Anything you post can be used as evidence to establish what your ex-partner is trying to prove—for example, using a comment, post, or picture to prove that you have poor parenting skills or judgment. Another example: you are trying to claim that you cannot work (and earn an income) because of health reasons. If you post pictures or comments that show you helping a friend move furniture or out dancing, these can be used to undermine your position on this issue.
Remember, what you think is an innocent post or comment can be misconstrued. Think carefully about what you write or post… consider waiting for a day to see if you still want to post something. Your social media activity may now be under great scrutiny!
It’s also essential to remember that once something is posted online, it can be out there forever, even if you delete it. (It’s very fast and easy for another party to take a screen shot.) When you’re involved in family law legal proceedings, you are required to keep all e-mails, text messages, and social media posts relevant to the dispute (and you may be asked if you have deleted or destroyed any such “evidence”.)
Treat other forms of communication such e-mail with caution too—read more about best practices for communicating with your ex-partner.
Questions about social media use when you’re going through a separation? Contact Henderson Family Law to set up an appointment for legal advice.
This content is provided as a general informational source by Henderson Family Law, and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, or establish a lawyer-client relationship. Every situation is complex and fact-specific, and appropriate advice will vary accordingly. Do not rely on this information for legal decision-making under any circumstances. Please consult with us and obtain proper advice and strategy concerning the specifics of your particular situation.