It’s natural during a difficult time, like separating from your partner, to reach out to your support network. For many people this can include their networks on social media websites like Facebook and Instagram.
We are seeing more and more clients bringing in Facebook posts made by their former partners that make untrue claims about the client, such as failing to provide financial support, not being a committed parent, and even extreme claims like they have abused the children or are trying to alienate them from the other parent.
If you end up in the Family Court, these posts can be produced as evidence that your former partner (or you, if you have made the post!) is not supportive of the children’s relationship with the other parent, or that they fail to recognise the benefit and importance to the children of having a meaningful relationship with both of their parents. In our experience, the Court views these types of posts very dimly. It is extremely difficult to say that you will be supportive of the children having a relationship with the other parent when you are producing posts showing that you have little to no respect for them.
Even if you don’t end up in Court, such posts can sabotage the parties reaching a final settlement between them and then moving on with their lives.
We are increasingly seeing the legal landscape change around posts on social media, too and people are finding themselves being held to account for posts and comments on social media, including people who are finding themselves defending defamation claims arising from things said on social media.
Here’s a handy guide to what you should and shouldn’t do on social media when you’re separating from your partner:
- Make your privacy settings on social media as tight as possible;
- Avoid mentioning your former partner at all if you can’t say anything nice about them;
- Delete any posts you have made that are critical of your former partner; and
- Remember that even if you have blocked your former partner, family and mutual friends might still be able to see your posts.
- Air your complaints about your former partner on social media;
- Make mysterious posts that could be interpreted as being critical of your partner;
- Accept friend requests from anyone you don’t personally know.
Separation and divorce is complicated, and it’s very hard to work out what a fair deal is. The team at PR Family Lawyers have extensive experience working in the area of Family Law for many West Australians over the years. We are committed to providing reliable and honest legal advice and guiding our clients to settlement in a manner which is as cost effective as possible. Speak to our family lawyers to help find a fair settlement. Call us on (08) 9221 5502, we would love to speak to you.