From the more trivial postings about what someone has had for dinner to the emotional outpourings which are often written after one too many drinks, mediums such as Facebook and Twitter have made it all too easy to check what an ex-spouse or our children are up to.
Aside from the emotional toll this can take (is there ever anything positive that comes from checking an ex’s Facebook profile?), there are some serious consequences that we often don’t consider, until it is too late.
Going through a divorce can be an extremely emotional and difficult time for everyone involved. Talking to friends or a professional about what you are experiencing can be helpful. Making your frustrations public on social media, on the other hand, can often serve to make things worse.
Plus, it is perfectly possible that your child or future partner, in many years time, could access and read all of the arguments you and you spouse have had over social media. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea not to write anything on social media which you wouldn’t be happy saying out loud in front of all of your friends, family and a crowd of strangers.
If possible, try to steer clear from social media altogether (or at least your spouse’s profile) if you know you will be tempted to post something regarding your separation.
Most of us now walk around with a recording device, in the form of our smartphones, on us at all times.
It seems to be becoming more and more common for parents to record their children talking about the other parent, in an attempt to gather evidence that the other parent is irresponsible and that they are not the best choice for the children to live with full time.
Any legal issues of recording conversations aside, questioning children about the other parent in this way can be emotionally distressing for the child involved and can often leave them feeling, at the least, in a very difficult position and at the worst, extremely upset.
One court case a couple of years ago about who a child should live with, involved a father and his partner making many secret recordings by, amongst other things, putting bugs into his child’s clothes. The judge said that hiding these kind of recording devices on a child in order to gather evidence for family proceedings was “almost always likely to be wrong.”
If you want to gather evidence about, for example, assets you believe your spouse to be hiding, it is important to make sure you are not committing a crime. For example, opening your spouse’s post or checking their emails without their permission, could be a criminal offence.
Seeking legal advice before embarking on any kind of investigation is advisable, so that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
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