Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. They are all here to stay. But what role do they play in separation and do people create problems by not fully thinking about the consequences of posting?
A few questions constantly plague the mind of a family law solicitor. Why people cannot appreciate the pitfalls in social media is one.
Take for example the client (let’s call him Bert) whose partner left him and he is devastated by the split. His ex-partner wants to relocate her place of residence with the children from a small town. Bert can’t think of anything worse than being away from his children.
A part of Bert’s case may be that his partner can be happy living in the small town. Bert however, torn apart by the separation, decides to post on Facebook. He taunts his ex, accuses her of affairs, mismanagement of money and of being a bad parent. Suddenly, without realising it, Bert has created a viable reason as to why his former partner can no longer live in the small town and weakened his case. Bert is silly.
Or how about Gwen. Gwen sits in front of her lawyer and cries poor. Then the lawyer finds out that Gwen is driving around in a Mercedes worth $100,000 and posting it on Facebook (although it is her brother’s). Gwen, Gwen, Gwen.. No! It may not be yours but it is not going to help your situation if your former partner thinks you have financial resources you don’t!
Some will say if you are excited about it, or if you love it then express it on social media. After all that is what it is there for.
This family lawyer only encourages people to be mindful of the broader consequences before posting so as to not cause unforeseen problems during what is usually a particularly difficult time.
*names do not depict actual people