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The rise of social media is impacting various areas of law, particularly family law proceedings.
While sharing a social media post may seem harmless, a recent Family Law Review found that 81% of cases accepted social media evidence.
There is no denying that an impulsive post can seriously affect the outcome of your matter.
The dangers of social media in the context of family law proceedings cannot be overstated. Posts, photos, and comments made in the heat of the moment can be used as evidence against you, potentially damaging your case. Privacy settings may not provide sufficient protection, as content can still be accessed or screenshotted.
Misinterpretation of posts is common, leading to misunderstandings that may exacerbate conflicts.
Moreover, social media can be a source of harassment, stalking, or defamation, further complicating legal matters. It is crucial for individuals involved in family law cases to exercise caution, think before they post, and seek legal advice on managing their online presence to safeguard their interests.
Family law matters may use the following types of social media evidence:
So, how might this apply to a real-life example? In Reiby & Meadowbank  FCCA 2040, the father’s bad behavior with drugs and alcohol presented in his social media posts was used as proof of his unsuitability to the parent. The mother in Edwards & Granger and Anor  FamCA 918 was fearful of the father, presenting evidence of repeated threats to her life on Facebook. These scenarios prove that acting irresponsibly or violently will undoubtedly be used as evidence.
Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 expressly prohibits parties from posting any part of a family law proceeding on social media. This includes any post which identifies:
In addition to adversely affecting the outcome of your matter, breaching this law carries a penalty of 12 months imprisonment.
It is important to ensure that your ex-partner does not have access to your social media accounts. To be safe, it is recommended that you reset any passwords.
You should always make social media posts with the assumption that they will be reviewed by the court. Ensure that your posts are always appropriate and tasteful. Avoid sharing any information about your ex-partner and avoid sharing posts that overly display your lifestyle. It may be a good idea to ask your friends and family members to avoid tagging you in any social media posts.
It is no surprise that nothing can actually be deleted off the internet. Before deleting a post, consider the possibility that a family member or friend may have already sent it to your ex-partner. Tampering with evidence is a serious offense.
The team at James Noble Law is experienced in the impact social media can have on family law disputes. If you are concerned about what evidence could be used against you, contact Brisbane family lawyers team to book a free consultation today. No-obligation 20-minute consultation. To schedule an appointment with one of our Qualified and experienced and Best Family lawyers Brisbane.
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