Three Considerations Regarding Social Media in Family Law Proceedings

Three Considerations Regarding Social Media in Family Law Proceedings

Today’s world is more intertwined with technology than ever before. While there are countless benefits to these advancements, it is important to maintain a level of caution when interacting online. This especially pertains to social media - what you upload on these platforms can live there forever.

The consequences can extend beyond a computer screen. If you are undergoing a family law proceeding, what you have posted online may impact your case. Contact us to speak to our family lawyers today about how your social media may affect your legal situation.

Social Media & Its Use As Evidence in Family Law Cases

Posts on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram may be used as evidence in family law cases. In some cases, posts can be used as evidence of conduct. This means that if they display inappropriate behaviour such as violence, negative interactions, or substance abuse, they may be used to challenge a person’s character or credibility as a partner or parent. Evidence from social media may be utilized during legislative situations like divorce, family planning, and support disputes.

Social media posts can also reveal more personal information, such as a person’s financial situation. This might result in contradictions during a family law case. For example, a spouse who claims to be struggling financially might weaken their case should they be found to have displayed extravagant purchases or lifestyle choices online.

Permanent paper trails and message records are also frequently stored on social media platforms. When you have a conversation online, it may be used as a communication record to provide insight into a relationship between partners or children during a family law case.

Discovery and Privacy

It is important to remember that whatever you post may remain online forever, whether your social media account is public or private. A lawyer can request social media records during the discovery process if they are deemed relevant to the case.

If you have questions about how your social media use may affect your current or future family law case, an Edmonton family lawyer may be able to help you prepare your next steps.

Social Media’s Impact on Legal Outcomes

Just like other types of evidence, social media interactions can potentially impact the outcome of a family law case. For example, in a divorce proceeding, incriminating social media evidence can influence decision-making responsibility or parenting time outcomes. This might occur when a parent’s online posts display irresponsible behaviour or factors that negatively impact their child’s life.

This is just one of many common pitfalls to avoid during a family law proceeding. Social media posts can also affect decisions regarding spousal support payments or can be used as part of a character assessment. In summation, inconsistent statements or proof of dishonesty via social media may weaken a person’s case and strengthen that of the opposing party.

Contact the Family Lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office

There are many ways in which social media can influence the process and outcome of your family law case. You may want to evaluate how social media and your digital footprint may factor into your legal situation. In doing so, you can do everything in your power to strengthen your case. You may consider preserving social media content that aids your claims, reviewing a platform’s privacy settings, or consulting with a lawyer.

Our family lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office may be able to help you through the complexities of your family law case, including how to best conduct yourself online. Contact us today to book a consultation.

** Please note, this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of family law, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with an Alberta family lawyer.

Comments are closed.