Social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, were probably always meant to be harmless fun; a novel, technologically advanced way to keep in touch with people and to let the world know what you are up to.
However, somewhere along the line, things got nasty and now, many divorce solicitors will hear their clients tell of a post they saw on Facebook, or a Facebook message they intercepted, which either demonstrates their spouse’s adultery, “proves” the spouse is lying about income, or that they are an “unfit” parent.
Sadly, many family lawyers are regularly regaled with tales of how one spouse saw something detrimental on Facebook, or a friend of a friend sent a status update from an ex-spouse etc, etc.
It seems that no matter how private you think your Facebook account is, if you post a picture showing yourself at a raucous party when you should have been visiting your children, this is not going to look good in the family court.
Divorce lawyers will now attest that in more and more divorce cases mobile phone records and evidence from social networking sites are being used and accepted in family courts as well as during divorce settlements as evidence of adultery.
So, the overall message is caution when using sites such as Facebook, but just in case you are unsure of the dos and don’ts, here are some top tips for safe social networking during divorce, from Healys’ divorce solicitors in London and Brighton.
Facebook faux pas
- Do not post inflammatory or accusatory statements about your ex-spouse – someone who knows both of you will show it to your former partner and it will cause trouble.
- Think carefully about the types of photos you upload onto Facebook, particularly if you post directly from a place and you were supposed to be elsewhere looking after your children.
- Even private messages to friends may be intercepted, particularly if your friend’s partner is still associating with your ex-spouse, so be careful about what you say in these messages.
- Do not plead poverty to the court and then post status updates from a luxury villa in Barbados (no matter who paid for the holiday).
- Think about comments you make on other people’s posts as well, because although these may not be recorded on your pages, they may be seen and noted by friends and family members who know your former spouse.
Facebooking fundamentals with Healys’ divorce solicitors
It is becoming more and more common that divorce solicitors are seeing evidence from modern communication technologies used in divorce settlements, and so our advice, even though it may sound obvious, is THINK, THINK and THINK again whenever you are about to click ‘send’ or ‘post’.
If you would like to talk to a divorce solicitor about any aspect of divorce and relationship breakdown, Healys’ family law team is here to help. We have many years’ experience in representing husbands and wives in divorce settlements and in bringing and defending financial claims.
We have offices in London and Brighton, but can help you wherever you may be in the UK. Furthermore, all our staff members have direct dial numbers so that you can be in contact with them easily.
To find out more about the team, please click through to our staff profile pages, where you will find details of our family lawyers and staff in the Family department.