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A Social Media Storm

Going through family law proceedings is never easy. It can be one of the most difficult periods that you have ever experienced. Venting and talking about it can be a useful tool to get you through. But, there is a big difference between venting on social media or other public platforms and talking to a professional or family member.

Nowadays, most people have access to the internet and/or some form of social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. What is most concerning about these online tools is that once something is posted, it can, and often does, remain there forever. While simply deleting a post or a comment can seem like the simple fix, these things can often be recovered. In this context, the importance of avoiding any posts about your family law proceedings becomes clear.

The Family Law Act expressly prohibits the publication of any information in relation to your family law proceedings. In fact, the publication of any information is a criminal offence, punishable by up to one year in prison. Information that cannot be published includes a wide range of material but primarily relates to anything that allows for the identification of the parties. For example, court documents, names of parties, the physical description or style of dress, or any particulars as to the property with which an individual is associated.

When thinking about posting about your family law proceedings on social media, pause, take a breath, and think of the four N’s:

  1. Negativity – is my post making a negative comment about my former partner, their legal representative, their family, my family, my children, or anybody else that has any form of connection to our family law proceedings?
  1. Nonsense – is my post truthful and accurate or is it a series of full of false accusations that has resulted from you needing to vent about what’s happening?
  1. Nuisance – is my post an attempt to antagonise a party to the proceedings? In other words, am I simply trying to get a rise out of a particular person?
  1. Necessary – is my post truly necessary? Social media can be an extremely useful tool in sharing your life with family and friends. Filling these people’s newsfeeds with derogatory and denigrating comments, or simply posts that allow you to let off steam, aren’t adding any value to the social media sphere. Keep these platforms for the positive experiences and milestones.

Concerned about social media activity in relation to your family law matter? Our team of family law specialists in Toowoomba, Ipswich, Brisbane & North Lakes are able to answer any questions or queries you may have. Contact us today on 07 3210 0281.