When couples separate, tensions are often running high, and it can be tempting for one party to take to posting on social media with various motives. There could be numerous reasons behind this, perhaps the person it is aimed at is blocked, so it’s believed that they will not see it, or it could be with the hope that someone might show it to the intended target, and they can be indirectly told how that person is feeling.
Parties who are going through separation should be conscious that regardless of whether they think that the other party will see the post, there is always a high likelihood that it will make its way to them or, even worse, to the children involved.
In family proceedings it is common for parties to send social media posts and messages to their solicitor as evidence to use in Court. Whether they do end up being used in Court is another issue, but it can be very damaging to a person’s case if they have been putting negative or abusive comments about another person, in writing.
It can also add to the acrimony in family proceedings, causing a ‘tit-for-tat’ attitude to ensue whereby each party wants to submit social media activity as evidence. This can result in lengthy documents, the reviewing of which adds to legal costs, as well as increasing the Court’s time spent reviewing what has been submitted as evidence.
What’s more, these scenarios paint a disappointing picture for professionals involved because it demonstrates how bitter the relationship between the parties has become and indicates to how difficult it may be for a settlement to be reached without the need for a final hearing. In children’s proceedings it also poses the question of whether these parties can put their issues to one side and focus on the children. People must also be aware that the postings on social media can become harassing in nature and may result in an injunction becoming necessary.
Regardless of whether you are going through a separation or simply want to know more, we cover some advice of how to protect yourself and your family on social media.
Regular overhauls of your account
- Check through your friends and followers to see who may need removing – relationships with people change frequently and you may have people viewing your posts who never like or comment, and therefore you forget that they are able to see your newsfeed.
- Check your privacy settings – you should make sure that pictures and status updates are not accessible to the general public and possibly even friends of friends. This will help to avoid information falling into the wrong hands.
- Change passwords regularly and consider using 2 step verification.
Consider the interpretation of your posts
- Remember that what you post could be used against you in Court proceedings. This could include photographs with people or the activities that you are taking part in, your relationship status and private messages.
- Children and parents of your children’s friends may see your posts, and this could cause hurt and anger.
- Even if you are not involved in Court proceedings, your posts could result in people asking your children about what has been shared on social media, which could make them uncomfortable or distressed.
- Regular posts about alcohol and/or drug consumption could result in drug and alcohol testing.
- Your post may lead to your whereabouts being compromised.
Our goal at RHL Solicitors is to help make your life easier when it comes to legal support, while providing you with an exceptionally high standard of care.
We don’t just try to reach a settlement for you; we help to resolve legal disputes and achieve the very best outcome by tailoring our advice to your own individual needs.
If you seek advice and service of specialist legal experts with decades of experience, contact our Family Law team who will be more than happy to discuss your matter further.
RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.