Social Media’s Role in Family Law Proceedings
It is not uncommon in the age of technology for affidavits and tender bundles in Family Court proceedings to include screenshots of text messages, copies of emails and posts on Instagram and Facebook as evidence.
It is something that we see time and time again, and if you are involved in family law proceedings, it is important to think twice before you send a text message or make a post on social media, and to think about the damage your social media could be making to your case or the potential case the other party could be building against you.
More often than not, social media posts highlight issues of attitudes between parties of the other, illicit drug use, partying behaviour or excessive alcohol abuse, or perhaps either parties’ capacity to care for the children.
If you have been following along with the saga of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian recently and their divorce proceedings you would see that Kanye’s social media posts would especially be fair game in becoming evidence in those property and parenting proceedings by Kim’s lawyers in the US.
Things like malicious, aggressive and denigrating comments are all considered by the Family Court as they demonstrate your intent, lack of insight, inability to move on from the events during the relationship or your attitude in relation to trying to settle the proceedings for the interest of the parties and the children.
One judge recently commented “It never ceases to astound me how many litigants in (the Family Court of Australia) publish material through social media such as Facebook without consideration as to how poorly it might reflect upon them if adduced in evidence”.
So, think first about how what you post on social media will impact your matter, and post second.
Contact Ellie Sumner, our family law solicitor at Bale Boshev on (02) 4969 1522 for a free 15-minute consultation.
Ellie Sumner – Solicitor
Ellie practises in family law, wills and estate matters and has spent the last three years working in the North West and Newcastle and Hunter regions.
Ellie also has experience in worker’s compensation and personal injury.
Ellie makes regular appearances in the Family and Federal Circuit Courts of NSW at Newcastle