Online Separation - there really is nowhere to hide by Venisha Shah - The Law House Family Law Solicitors, London & Peterborough


Online Separation – there really is nowhere to hide by Venisha Shah

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on May 7th, 2013

How many of us really give a thought to our online digital life and what would happen if you separated from your spouse or partner?

Almost all of us have a presence on Facebook and we are being told that Twitter is overtaking Facebook as the place to express yourself and share everything about your life. This is fine when everything is great between you and your partner. You tend to share everything about the relationship publicly and allow each other full on access to the other’s accounts. But when things go wrong, they can really go wrong in a big way.

Social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter are often being cited in Court proceedings to show how the other half lives…literally. Very little is censored and once it’s out there it’s pretty much out there permanently. In matters relating to children, these forums are often used to show that the other person is a bad parent. Many people who are separating or getting divorced will try to downplay their financial assets but in the digital arena you will be found out. In matters relating to finances, unhappy partners often rely on social media forums to illustrate a particular standard of living.

But it doesn’t just stop at social media. Many of us happily share our passwords with our partners. As everything in life seems to be passworded, your partner may have access to your e-mails, your bank accounts, your Facebook posts, etc. Once you hand over passwords it is very hard to reclaim back control as many have found out to their cost.

How do you balance between being open with your partner and at the same time protecting yourself just in case it doesn’t work out? In an ideal world, you would not share your passwords and everyone would be civil when they separate i.e. no mean posts on Facebook! But this is real life with real consequences. We always advise people who separate to change all their passwords and to make sure they are no longer friends on Facebook or being followed by their ex on Twitter. Just taking a few minutes to do this can save a lot of pain, anger, embarrassment and humiliation.

All our family lawyers make sure that these basic steps are taken from the beginning in order to protect you. To speak to one of our family lawyers, please ring Silvana Bedford on (020) 8956 2655 or send an e-mail to her at sbedford@thelawhouse.com.