Social Media During Divorce: Can Your Words Be Used Against You?

Law Blog

All's fair in love and war, but when it comes to divorce all bets are off! Your life may be under a microscope for the next few months while your divorce heads through the legal system. From custody disputes to stalking, it is important you are mindful of what you post on your social media accounts if you don't want your words to come back and bite you.

Custody Battles

In 1975, Australia introduced a Family Law Act that removed the need to assign blame to a party during divorce. The Australian courts are not interested in why your marriage broke down, they are only looking at the fact the marriage is over.

However, in custody battles, particularly ones where each spouse wants majority custody of the children, your behaviour is going to be examined carefully. The court is interested in protecting the children, and evidence will be produced by the other side if there is any way it can be argued that the children are being put in any type of psychological or physical harm.

The best way to make sure innocent words or actions aren't used against you is not to post them in the first place. Nobody is saying you have to have the life of a saint, but while the custody of your children is being decided, keep your social media postings to a minimum. If you have concerns that your past is going to be used against you, make sure your family lawyer knows what sort of allegations may be made. Forewarned is forearmed!

Unwelcome Stalking

In 2015 in Queensland, protective orders were breached as often as they were applied for. Stalkers do not always think rationally, and it is wise to be mindful that when emotions are flaring, you could become the object of unwanted attention.

It's not just a simple matter of blocking your ex from your social media accounts and hoping they don't find out about your life. If you are still sharing friends, information can inadvertently be shared by them with your spouse. Not posting your every move on social media will help to limit the possibility of stalking. Additionally, if you do have concerns about your safety, make your family lawyer aware of this so they can help to file a protection order for you.

Keeping your thoughts and movements off social media may feel like punishment in the short term, but it could be the decision that prevents further animosity happening between you and your partner. No one wins during messy divorce proceedings, so keep your head down and let your family lawyer take care of the majority of this process for you.


27 January 2016

Sorting out my dad's estate

My dad died when I was still pretty young so it's been a big surprise all the stuff I've had to do to sort out his estate. I'm an only child and my folks divorced when I was a baby so most of the work fell to me. He was kind of disorganised and grumpy, but at least he'd spoken to his lawyer and got a proper will drawn up which saved on confusion at a tricky time. If you are a young person dealing with the estate of a deceased parent, this blog is designed to help you navigate the legal processes.