LEGAL EAGLE: How social media can affect divorce cases in today’s world

Social Media is now more prominent in our lives than ever before, but it can bite back.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:00 am
Social media may be a way that the other party may obtain information that you may not want them to find out.

Here Tilly Bailey & Irvine's Private Family Law team explains how it affects divorce cases in the modern world.

Social media undeniably plays a huge part in our lives and some would say an obsessive part of our day to day lives.

YouGov Omnibus data shows that one in five (20%) people in relationships think that their partner doesn’t pay enough attention to them. Social media is cited as the number one distraction. 28% of those feel neglected, saying that their loved one are checking their phones instead of spending quality time with them.

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Currently an increasingly number of divorces are based upon “unreasonable behaviour.” Marriages fall hazard to sometimes illicit behaviour by one party and at times social media platforms can make it more accessible, such as through dating apps.

What you SHOULD do:

We suggest that you avoid sharing details of your divorce/finances and children matters.

This is a sensitive matter and one which can often only lead to more harm than good when dirty laundry is aired over social. Keep these private.

Similarly, avoid bashing your ex in online forums. This will equally only aggravate the situation, which in turn could prove more expensive than the divorce being dealt with on an amicable basis.

Be wary of:

Social media may be a way that the other party may obtain information that you may not want them to find out.

Some secret relationships are no longer secret when social media becomes involved, and instead it can be shown as evidence of who a person shares time with, as well as their actions.

You do not know who is reporting back with evidence. Your ex may not have an account with Facebook, but their friends may, and they could be reporting back to those involved.

Your posts may reflect your parenting and could even have an impact on your children. How many family and friends have fallen out due to something that has been posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for example?

Sites such as Linkedin may also be used in cases with regard to child support, while social posts can also be used to demonstrate spending of income, such as bragging about a new flash car or piece of jewellery they've acquired.

The moral of the story? To avoid the above, you may consider deactivating your accounts and other social media sites during these tougher times.