What not to do on social media when a relationship comes to an end.
All aspects of our lives have been changed by technology and social media and this is no different when it comes to divorce. While many people take it to Facebook and Instagram to bring out this sorrow of their life, others opt for Youtube by buying views as there is no use for a youtube channel without many views, to express the time of their biggest rief. There are both legal and emotional reasons to be cautious of social media during a divorce. Of course, you do not have to be completely unplugged, as appealing as that may sound at times, but people must be aware of the potential consequences of their social media activity.
Don’t Incriminate Yourself
Mobile phones, emails, internet searches and social media sites to name a few are all forms of communication that can provide a lawyer with potentially incriminating evidence, lawyers using this evidence in the courtroom is on the rise and it won’t be going away any time soon. Pictures of an expensive holiday can call into question why you applied to lower your maintenance payments, being tagged into partying pictures can be used in painting a negative picture where parenting issues are concerned, and the issues surrounding dating websites I am sure are not something that requires elaboration. The potential uses of electronic commutations are endless they have been used to:
- Indicate a person’s state of mind
- Show where a person was at a particular day and time
- Show collaboration between two parties
- Contradict statements made in court or in pre-trial disclosures
Remember! Social media is a permanent log of your life.
Each time you post on social media, you are essentially creating a diary of everything you have been doing. Whilst most of it may be harmless, remember that some of it can be taken out of context and may not create the image you would want through the divorce process.
There are no “take-backs” on social media
It is easy to vent online as a quick release for angry or hurt feelings after a painful interaction with your ex-spouse. It is hard to repair the damage that comes from such posts. When your ex, your family, your friends, your community and potentially your children see your posts, you cannot “unsay” anything.
However and interestingly social media has brought developments to family law, the case of Victor Sena Blood – Dzraku, a New York husband, who received his divorce summons via a private Facebook message. In this case it is claimed that the husband had no fixed address or place of employment and has refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers. Following on from this divorce case, it would not be surprising if, in the future, similar applications to issue divorce papers via Facebook messages were made in the Family Courts in England and Wales.
What about online privacy?
Courts have been reluctant to extend any meaningful privacy protections to online information. Some have even concluded that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on social networking sites at all. Whatever expectation of privacy an individual is entitled to, however, is lost when divorce proceedings begin.
Like so many things, there is both an upside and a downside to social media. During a divorce, be cautious of your posts to protect yourself both legally and emotionally.
If you need legal advice on any issue surrounding family law please contact family law specialists Maguire Family Law by email Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone:
Wilmslow 01625 544650
Knutsford 01565 648228
London 0207 9474219