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Separated? Could Social Media Add to Your Problems?

Author: Nicola Conley

Many of us enjoy social media, sharing photographs and reading about the good times that people are enjoying with their loved ones.  But have you thought that any information you share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can be read and potentially used against you in your separation/divorce proceedings?

Suppose your ex partner is late returning the children.  It is very easy to post something very reactive and emotional because you are stressed, annoyed and upset.  But remember, the world can read your post, your ex can show the court your reaction and your children can read your comments.  Previously, you would have simply telephoned a friend and vented about how you felt and there would be no electronic record of what you said.

Photographs may tell the true story of who you are socialising with but they can also be misinterpreted. You could have your arm innocently around your colleague in the pub after work, but this could be misinterpreted to be something more intimate.  Photographs of you in a bar with posts saying what a great night you are having could give the impression that you have been drinking alcohol all evening as opposed to soft drinks. 

Both of these examples could portray you in a bad way and change the Court’s opinion of you.

The communications recorded on social media are becoming more and more frequently used as evidence in the court room of infidelity, new relationships, how people spend their money, not being where or when they say they are.  It can track people’s lifestyles and spending habits, for example the purchase of cars, meals,  trips out and holidays.

However, sometimes social media could work in your favour.  For example, your ex states that they are unable to contribute more towards the family bills since separation due to financial hardship but they are posting photos and checking in on social media of places they are frequenting  and people they are socialising with.  This can paint a very different picture to the one they have portrayed in court that they are struggling financially.

The best advice is to be very careful about what you post on social media or stop using these sites whilst you are going through a separation or divorce.  Whilst social media sites offer security measures to limit the audience of your posts, it would only take an innocent mistake on behalf of your friends to lead you into trouble through reposting or leaking information.   If you don’t want a Judge to read what you have been up to….. don’t publish it.

For further advice please contact Nicola Conley on 01036 502293 or n.conley@downslaw.co.uk or another member of our Family team.

 

 

Posted on 01/03/2017 by Pam Bowring

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