Social media is a major part of everyday life, and people think nothing of posting information about their personal affairs online. But, have you ever considered that if you are embroiled in a dispute with your ex-partner, social media evidence could affect the outcome of court proceedings?
A simple search online via various social media platforms can reveal a fair amount of information about a person. It is important to review regularly who can see your social media account and what it shows, to ensure that you are not giving away too much personal information.
If for example, a person pleads poverty, yet their Facebook account shows evidence of foreign holidays or car purchases, it will not look good if that person is claiming not to be able to afford to make maintenance payments, for example.
Social media profiles show a great deal about a person’s circumstances, including their living arrangements. A simple statement such as referring to “our home” could indicate cohabitation. A person could be checking in to their new partner’s location more often than not during the week or may be openly making plans about cohabitation or engagement via social media.
Such statements could be used as evidence in court proceedings. Any disparaging remarks about a spouse could lead to defamation claims. Individuals making threats or intimidating comments on social media could face police action or could be on the receiving end of an injunction application.
Deleting comments may not undo the damage as the post may have already been shared or re-tweeted. Problems may also arise in other areas as a result of ill-advised social media use. If a couple decides to resolve matters without resorting to court, whether by mediation, or collaboration, the presence of social media postings of any nature may increase conflict between the parties and could cause the collapse of negotiations.
The ability to broadcast thoughts in an instant can have a detrimental effect and so maybe people need to think before venting their feelings on social media. People need to be careful even upon the conclusion of their case and consider setting up a new email account or at least changing their passwords, especially if devices are linked via a cloud.
Melanie Lazarus & Co was founded in July 2005 by Melanie Lazarus and is considered the leading legal practice in Wales specialising in the field of Family Law, and Melanie and her team offer clients a specialist service in all aspects of Family Law.
Melanie Lazarus & Co
38 – 40 Nolton Street Bridgend CF31 3BN