Social Media Savvy: Things To Consider When Separating

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.

About Leisha Murphy

Partner/Mediator – Vancouver

After being a family lawyer for over 13 years, coupled with my own personal experience with divorce, I have come to understand the difficult transition that comes with the end of a relationship. This experience has put me in the unique position of being able to provide clients with a clear picture of what is to come and how to plan for it. As well as provide clients with guidance and education on how to deal with the day-to-day realities of a separation.