Facebook is now cited in a third of all divorce cases and often used to discredit parents in Children Act proceedings – think twice before you post online

Research has shown that Facebook has been cited in a third of all divorce cases and is increasingly relied upon as proof of inappropriate behaviour. Whether it is used to prove that a former partner is in another relationship, living an extravagant lifestyle or to show contact is being facilitated between a parent and child, Facebook and other forms of social media are increasingly being used as a weapon following relationship breakdown.

It is important to consider from the outset what information you are posting on social networking sites, as a former partner would normally be interested in finding out about significant updates in your life such as a new partner, moving into a new property or even a new job offer. Many of these updates are often referred to on social media and may be used as evidence that an individual is not telling the truth about their financial position.

In recent Children Act cases the use of social media has taken a more serious turn, and some parties have begun internet campaigns intended at seriously damaging another’s reputation or post hurtful comments simply aimed at ‘getting back’ at the other party. Despite the fact the court may penalise such behaviour it is difficult once such comments have been posted, for them to ever go away due to the nature of the internet items can often be repeated online.

Whatever the nature of proceedings, it is important to consider the information you post on social media and to refrain from malicious use of the internet in family disputes as this can be particularly damaging for all of the family.