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SOCIAL MEDIA HAZARD - CAN YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AFFECT FAMILY LAW PROCEEDINGS?

Wed, 21 May 2014

SOCIAL MEDIA HAZARD - CAN YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AFFECT FAMILY LAW PROCEEDINGS?

We take the opportunity to remind you all of the serious implications your social media accounts, in particular Facebook, can have on any court proceedings to which you may be a party.

The Family Court has shown an increasing inclination in recent months to accept evidence obtained from Facebook when deciding cases about:

  • where/whom the child/ren are to live with;
  • the amount of time spent with each parent; and
  • whether the parents are facilitating a cooperative parenting relationship or whether they are denigrating the other party via social media.

The Court can also consider evidence obtained from Facebook to form or support a view of a party's alcohol/drug use or habits and even their state of mind, particularly if the child/ren were in a parties care at the time the pictures were taken.

In a recent case, there were orders in place stipulating that the father of a child must remain at his residential premises during contact visits with the child, however on one occasion the father took the child to the beach and photographs of their beach outing were posted to Facebook. The mother obtained copies of those photos and it was later held by the Court that he had breached the court orders.

In another case, the father was seeking orders that the mother be restrained from relocating with the child, however the mother produced evidence from her Facebook page which contained a message from the father stating that he agreed that the child should live with her and accordingly, the application was refused by the Court.

It is imperative that you monitor your personal social media carefully to ensure that you don't find yourself or your court proceeding unnecessarily adversely affected.

If you require the assistance of a Family Lawyer, or have concerns about the use of social media please contact one of our experienced Lawyers at Affinity Lawyers on 5563 8970 to arrange an initial consultation, which is free of charge.

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