Divorcing couples should not use Facebook and other social media to try to score points against their spouses.
The advice comes from Pamela Arrowsmith, a consultant solicitor in the Family Law department at Thursfields, who has underlined the importance of parties thinking carefully before posting any words or images that might be used against them.
She also highlighted the perils of identifying children, their addresses or schools on social media, as this can be seen as inflammatory and in proceedings children’s details can only be released with the permission of the court.
Pamela said: “Using social media during the breakdown of a relationship can be a very dangerous thing to do.
“As a solicitor, I have often had clients showing us copies of Facebook and other social media entries which have been posted by their spouse or ex-partner.
“Our clients often ask for these posts to be used, and we have then often exhibited such entries from Facebook and social media in support of our client’s case both in correspondence and in court documents against their opposition.
“Therefore, it is extremely important not to post any image or words that can be used against you or which can be seen by the court as inflammatory, as adverse conclusions can be drawn against anyone posting in this way.
“It is also extremely important to note that photographs and information identifying children, their address or school should never be posted.
“We all have to be very careful anyway not to post such images and information to protect the children from hackers or potential abusers who might use such information for illegal purposes.
“But this becomes even more crucial during a divorce case as a spouse may use such postings to highlight the irresponsibility of the opposition.
“And under no circumstances should any court documents be disclosed to anyone else outside the courtroom and the solicitors involved in those proceedings, including via images on social media.”
Pamela added: “In short, always think twice and perhaps three times before posting anything to social media.
“Only do so if you wish to see those posts set out in legal documents for the court, and think about the impact of such posts on any current or future proceedings.”