Social media is already a regular part of most people’s life and offers several advantages like networking, staying in touch, and socializing. Unfortunately, social media can also increase the stress of getting a divorce or separating from someone.
How you use social media once you have a family law issue has an effect beyond just how many likes you get. It is said to be bad for marriage and relationships, according to numerous reports.
Because of this, it is not surprising that social media content is becoming more and more relevant in family law cases.
The sections below will assist you in staying out of trouble while you navigate a separation or other family law issues.
Social Media Posts May Be Subject to Disclosure and Used as Evidence
If the social media content you’ve posted relates to a crucial fact in the case, you can be required to reveal it. In the personal injury case of Fric v. Gershman (2012 BCSC 614 (Master), this also applies to images and videos.
A party’s social media posts may nevertheless be admitted into evidence even if they are not required to do so.
Snapshots of the father’s Facebook posts were permitted into evidence in M. (K.) v. B. (J.), 2013 BCSC 2041, on the grounds that “postings were not truly private communications. They were available to be seen by a group of friends and could have been shown to others or passed on by the recipients. In these circumstances, the respondent had no real expectation of privacy in his postings.”
Negative Social Media Posts Are a Trap
Given the continuous nature of the parental relationship and the fact that you have children together, the other party’s negative social media posts can be especially harmful. To stop and punish family law cyberbullying, many businesses have even filed court proceedings to seize devices and gather login information.
In Campbell v. Stern, 2017 BCSC 2186, the mother’s abusive remarks about the respondent on social media had a role in the court’s decision to name the father as the guardian in charge of the child’s therapy [para 28].
Via W. (R.) v. C. (P.), 2017 BCSC 998, it was determined that making false accusations and derogatory comments about the opposing party to a child in emails and social media posts constituted emotional abuse and family violence.
The communication may nonetheless have a detrimental effect on your claim, even if it does not rise to the level of domestic violence.
Modify Your Social Media Usage When in a Family Law Dispute
You might want to think about updating your password, going back and checking old social media posts, and avoiding current social media stuff that could be used against you. For instance, a photo of you enjoying a drink or going on a vacation could be interpreted negatively or used as proof of your way of life.
You might want to review your friends list even if you consider yourself to be tech-savvy and privacy-conscious because you might frequently have mutual friends with your ex-spouse who may have access to the information you believe to be private.
While the family law case is pending, you might also wish to advise your loved ones to refrain from posting anything negative about you online.
Using social media can be helpful when it comes to maintaining contact with friends and relatives, but it’s important to be aware of how your use of social media can impact your family law case. Following the guidelines above can help you use social media more responsibly and avoid any potential problems.
Dreyer and Associates is prepared to assist you if you need a family lawyer. We provide a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. Call today to set up an appointment with one of our lawyers.