Social Media Savvy: Things To Consider When Separating

August 7, 2013
Leisha Murphy

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, have led to an unprecedented sharing of personal information on public platforms.

In many instances our discretion has not caught up with our desire to share our activities, triumphs, failures and thoughts with our “friends”. This lack of discretion can become alarmingly clear in a family law dispute, where comments made in jest or during a “guys’ weekend” away become fodder for a court application.

If you are contemplating separating from your spouse or have already separated, here are a few things to keep in mind when you are thinking of making that next post:

1 Your spouse can use photographs on Facebook against you, no matter how long ago they were taken or posted;

2 Jokes or statements written in jest may not seem as funny later when they are read out loud in the court;

3 Offensive or slanderous material can be used against you. 

…and a few suggestions to help protect you and your privacy:

1 Reset your privacy settings on the highest possible setting;

2 Do not accept “friend requests” from people you do not know personally (remember, “friends of friends” can see your Facebook profile);

3 Do not post anything about your ongoing divorce/separation case;

4 Do not post any photos or comments that you would not want a judge to see or read;

5 Change your passwords to all electronic accounts; and

6 Set up a new email account to correspond with your counsel.

Leisha Murphy
Leisha Murphy
Partner (Vancouver)
Connect Family Law

Leisha has practised exclusively in the area of family law since being called to the British Columbia Bar in 2010. Before opening Connect Family Law in 2015, she practiced in the family law group of a leading British Columbia law firm.