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Social Media in Family Matters
Social media now plays a large role in most people’s day-to-day lives, with the average person spending over two hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Whilst these social networks are a brilliant way to stay in touch, people should always be mindful of what personal information they are sharing, particularly when going through children or matrimonial financial proceedings.
A rising number of Divorce Petitions based on one party’s unreasonable behaviour now reference the use of, or conduct on, social media.
Social media postings can also be presented to evidence a differing financial position to that portrayed in matrimonial financial proceedings. In financial proceedings both parties have a duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure by a sworn Financial Statement, Form E. However if a party has completed a Form E indicating they do not have significant income or assets, posting photos of an expensive new car, holidays or posts celebrating a work promotion can be used as an indication of their financial status. Photographs of holidays with your new partner could be used also be used as evidence of cohabitation or an intention to cohabit, and therefore your financial resources. Similarly, it would not appear genuine if one party claims to not have the funds to make periodical payments to their spouse, but their social media postings show frivolous spending.
Information contained on social media profiles could also provide proof of employment, or posts sharing news of a pay rise, in a case where that party is looking to convince their spouse and the Court that their earning capacity is significantly lower than it actually is.
In children matters, photos or posts could reveal how children are being cared for. Derogatory comments on social media about an ex could cause tensions to be raised, and difficulties in agreeing contact. Children are now learning to use social media applications from a young age, and therefore may be exposed to seeing inappropriate posts from either parent regarding their situation and negative comments about one another, which could cause the children to feel confused and conflicted.
Here at Tozers LLP we have an experienced team of specialist family lawyers. Please feel free to contact us for a free, confidential initial appointment to discuss the options available to you. We have Family solicitors in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.
If you require further information or advice in respect of divorce, or any family matter please contact our solicitors in Exeter on 01392 207020.