Divorce and Social Media
There is no hiding from the fact that we are now a nation which loves or is possibly even obsessed when it comes to sharing on social media every success, failure, purchase, emotion, milestone and opinion and that includes divorce. As a result one person can now have two identities. One in the real world and the other in the world of social media, the latter being very open and at times, self-promoting. This dual identity has become very handy for family lawyers whilst addressing divorce matters. Here are some of the perils of bearing all.
Tracing Assets – where has all the money gone?
Within family Court proceedings Judges are now open to applications by family lawyers for disclosure of personal data on social media so that undisclosed assets can be traced. The results may not provide exact details of an asset but investigations of photographs, whereabouts or statements may support arguments made by a partner.
It should be mentioned that Facebook and Twitter are making every effort to assure users that they will only hand over such information if forced to do so by a court order or other valid legal processes.
Service of Documents – where has my spouse gone?
In the real world people can very easily make service of documents very difficult by making themselves unavailable; however this is a lot harder to achieve within digital space. The courts are now also more willing to approve applications to serve documents via Facebook.
Relationship conduct – where have my morals gone?
Under the cloak of a social account, people tend to say things that they may not otherwise be brave enough to say in person. Therefore, if your partner has made any inappropriate comments about you via social media, then this could be used as evidence to support any application, for example domestic violence. Social media allows people to connect very quickly and often such activity can arouse suspicions in a partner as to whether their partner is being faithful. Such suspicions, regrettably, can lead to the downward spiral of a relationship. Photographs or activity may be used as evidence in a contested divorce.
The posting of pictures, check-ins or status updates evidencing partying, drinking or other inappropriate behaviour could also be used to support an argument that the person is the inappropriate individual to take care of any children. Equally, making online declarations of any new relationship could also impact on child arrangements as well as financial proceedings.
There really is no place to hide so……
If you are separating from your partner it is important that manage your social media by changing passwords, posting sensibly and checking your privacy settings to control what becomes visible on your page as your personality online could impact on your family proceedings.
If you want expert advice when it comes to separation or divorce, please contact me, Hardeep Dhillon, at The Law House Solicitors on 020 8899 6620. Alternatively, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org