In the stress of a Family Law dispute, parents often turn to social media to vent their frustrations about the other parent, express their annoyance about the process, or potentially show the ways they are dealing with the stress. Even though many parents consider social media a solution to their stress, online posts can negatively affect their case in several ways.
Social Media and Parenting
In parenting matters, the central concern of the Court is the best interests of the child. When there is evidence of one party frequently losing their temper in the online space and posting threats to the other parent, the Court may take this into consideration if it is in evidence.
Images posted online of a parent engaging in drinking or use of illicit drugs may be construed to demonstrate a lack of responsibility by one parent, and this can sway the Court’s view of that parent’s attitude towards parenting.
Social Media and Spousal Maintenance
Social media posts can also be relevant to spousal maintenance applications. In spousal maintenance applications, a relevant factor is whether the party applying for maintenance is able to reasonably meet their needs. Social media posts showing a party or a holiday, going out to expensive restaurants or buying expensive items like a house or car might be used by the other party to demonstrate that no assistance is needed to maintain that party’s reasonable needs. Posting things from your daily life can have unforeseen impacts on the amount payable to you when seeking spousal maintenance.
A Final Tip
When engaged in Family Law proceedings, it is important to make sure that you do not communicate any details of the proceedings that identify parties and/or witnesses. This is an offence that could see you go to prison for a maximum of 1 year. From complaining about the other party to posting about your weekend plans, these could all impact the amount you receive from a property settlement, or the amount of time you that you are able to spend with your children.
In the end, it may be worth disconnecting from social media altogether until your matter is finished, because the risks of saying something detrimental to your case (intentionally or accidentally) are high.
If you need any assistance with your Family Law matter and have any questions about the above, contact Frank Law on (02) 9688 6023.
This is not legal advice.