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Social Media and Divorce – Top Tips & Advice

Social Media and Divorce – Top Tips & Advice

Any family lawyer knows that Social Media is becoming more and more of an influencing factor in divorces. It is thought that 1 in 7 couples considering divorce cite “excessive use of social media” as a reason for the breakdown of their relationship.

facebook & divorce

One only needs to view the all too common scene in restaurants where no-one is talking but they are all looking at their phones!

Social Media Posts

Most divorce cases will at some time involve reviewing posts made on social media. These will normally include photos and comments.

These sorts of posts are then used by clients to try to demonstrate the reasons for the divorce, to influence the financial settlement or to prove infidelity.

facebook divorce cartoon

Whilst the over use of social media can be part of the reason for a relationship breakdown it can also be used post separation for bitter recriminations and founded (or unfounded accusations).

Divorce etiquette and Social Media

Always remember that social media posts are a PUBLIC document. This means that they are admissible in court and have the potential to cause serious harm to the person’s ability to negotiate a successful settlement or for a resolution to be reached amicably with the other party.

facebook divorce
Everyone fully understands that separation and divorce are a highly upsetting and stressful time. Social media posts however tempting are not necessarily the answer. Remember that anything posted must reflect the image and status that you are relying on and presenting in court or during mediation.

For example:

If part of the case is arguing for a higher financial settlement and that without it the individual will be unable to continue to finance the basic household necessities i.e. utility bills but the facebook page shows regular trips abroad, expensive nights out and an extravagant lifestyle then that argument may be lost.
In fact, these posts may be used in evidence to argue that a lower settlement might be fairer.

Full & Frank Disclosure

A key part of divorce proceedings is that there is a full and frank disclosure. This is why social media can be dangerous if it is telling a different story to the one portrayed.
Carefully consider posts which contain:
• Major expenses
• New romances
• Private information or conversations
• Lifestyle choices
Which basically means anything that you would not want your ex to be aware of or would influence the courts or a negotiated settlement.
That is not to say that a break or holiday after a break up is not acceptable. In fact, most people would say that this is exactly what is needed. It is how it is portrayed in social media that needs consideration.
Also consider that even if you are no longer social media friends with your ex partner, you may still share friends. This may mean that posts are shared or shown and used as evidence to support the other sides case.
Some exes may go further in order to try and access personal posts but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

5 Top Tips

• Say no to temptation. Do not log into your partner’s social media accounts or phone messages; it is not looked upon well in court.
• Keep calm and consider any content or photos before you post them. Remember posts can be copied before you have a chance to reconsider and delete them.
• Always avoid the use of foul or abusive language.
• Don’t post inappropriate images.
• Never make verbal or physical threats.

For FREE initial advice call us now on 01535 662644 to see how our Family Law team can help you.

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