Think before You Click: The Role of Social Media in Family Law

social media

social mediaBe careful with what you post online — especially when you are in the middle of a divorce. While venting on Facebook about your ex-partner may seem petty, it can actually lead to serious repercussions when it comes to family law. Local practitioners from law firms in Townsville to Brisbane to Perth and back suggest thinking before clicking. It is imperative to exercise great caution when going online.

When Social Media Meets Law

Going through divorce means going through a series of emotional extremes, from anger and depression to guilt and shame. The struggle to be strong in these times sometimes takes a toll on all parties involved, which often leads to increased tension and conflicts.

As a way of coping, most people tend to express their emotions online. For instance, some would post insulting remarks about their soon-to-be-ex or egg on others who see the bad side of their spouses. These things can greatly affect how the court decides on divorce matters.

Section 121 of the Family Law Act “makes it an offence to publish proceedings or images that identify people involved in family law proceedings”. Every comment you post online is under the keen eye of courts.

The same is true with posting photos. ‘Drunken pictures’ may seem funny to your friends, but the court frowns upon this. Your spouse may also use this to show the deciding judge that you don’t have the capacity to raise children properly.

As a result, you may face serious penalties, from fines to imprisonment. This, of course, goes on top of the likely unfavourable decision from the court.

Safe than Sorry on Social Media

Since almost every social activity is under scrutiny, be cautious when posting online. Imagine a family court judge seeing your status or pictures, do you think they would approve of it?

Think about the consequences of your actions. Consult legal counsel if you are unsure.  More importantly, consider if your social activity reflects the good parent that you are; if not, perhaps it’s better to just keep it private.

The basic rule is, when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The better, safer habit, though, is to refrain from going online completely when you’re in the height of emotion.

Social media can affect how your divorce will turn out. So remember to think before you click.