Divorce and Social Media – A match made in Heaven?

13th February 2015

Divorce and Social Media – A match made in Heaven?

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Like it or not, social media has found a way into most people’s lives, by choice or otherwise. Some couples even have a joint social media account so that they can keep up to date with friends and family in one hit. All is well until a relationship or marriage hits the rocks.

Who would have thought that using social media could be a criminal offence?  With social media being so accessible and immediate, it’s easy to post in haste and repent at leisure.  Posts can be made in seconds, at a time when a person’s rational thinking is clouded or when emotions are running high.  For example, social media has been used to deliberately hurt a person by posting intimate photographs or videos. The power of social media can be underestimated and posts can go viral in minutes with devastating effects on the victim. As of Thursday 12th February 2015, it’s now a criminal offence to share intimate photos or videos of a former partner without their permission knowing it will cause them distress. The punishment is up to 2 years in prison.

In a relationship breakdown, social media can impact your separation further than you may think. Be aware of how you conduct yourself on social media, generally. Posting status updates as to how you are feeling following the breakdown of a relationship is one thing as you may feel that you need the support of your family and friends. However, you have to be careful that it does not escalate to you or others making nasty comments about the other. This can be used as evidence in divorce proceedings and injunctions. It is a very fine line that you must tread.

Facebook is increasingly cited in many divorce cases as evidence of why a marriage has broken down. The classic example is evidence of affairs. It could also be used against you to prove unfavourable behaviour such as drunken nights out or compromising positions. You may not be posting these photos yourself, you need to control what impression you are painting in the social media world.

It goes without saying that you should never share your passwords with anyone as it may come back to haunt you if things are posted on your social media sites without your permission. Nowadays any prospective employers check what your social media activity is and it could have far reaching consequences.

If you are going through difficult times and feel that your relationship is at an end or has come to an end, then contact our Family Law Solicitor, Ivana Radovic on ivana.radovic@gotelee.co.uk or 01473 298 165, who would be happy to see you. If you have fallen foul of the new criminal offence contact Hugh Rowland on hugh.rowland@gotelee.co.uk who will be able to assist.

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