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think twice before you post online

Think twice before you "post" - Social Media and Family Law

Monday 1st of July 2019
By: Lauren Dunning, Associate, Coote Family Lawyers

Thank you so much for all you have done for me

Why can't I post what I want on social media?

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube, Messenger . . . most of us access at least one of these social media sites and messaging services every day.

The rise of social media has provided instant access to a wide range of evidence that is now being applied in family law matters and particularly parenting cases.

Clients often provide us with the following as evidence of their ex-partner's conduct:

  • screenshots of text messages, or messages exchanged on apps like WhatsApp and messenger;
  • photographs of parents accused of acting unsafely with their children or breaching court orders;
  • evidence of drug use and/or alcohol abuse;
  • photographs of parties travelling or purchasing assets despite alleging they have no income or failing to disclose said assets;
  • posts or screenshots of profiles showing derogatory comments or threatening comments about the other party;
  • tagged posts or comments made by third parties are derogatory or mention parties to Court proceedings.

Due to the treatment of the laws of evidence in family law and particularly in relation to parenting matters, social media content is often found to be admissible in Court proceedings and can be considered when determining the outcome of a case.

The Family Law Act also prevents parties to proceedings from publishing information about the proceedings which identifies the parties involved in a case. If a party is found guilty of such conduct they may be subject to fines and even imprisonment.

If you are separating or in the process of family law litigation, think twice before you "post". 

For further information or advice call 9804 0035.

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