By Sharla Stevens
Evidence from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used as evidence in family law matters. This type of evidence is particularly being used in parenting matters on an increasing basis. There are occasions where one parent will make disparaging comments about the other parent. This type of behaviour may be used as evidence that a person is not a suitable parent. There are a number of factors that a court must take into account when making orders that they consider to be in the child’s best interests, including:
- The attitude to the responsibilities of parenthood demonstrated by each of the child’s parents;
- The capacity of each of the child’s parents to provide for the needs of the child, including emotional and intellectual needs; and
- Any other fact or circumstance that the court thinks is relevant in the particular matter.
Evidence from social media may be used by one parent to argue that it would not be in the child’s best interests to live or spend time with the other parent if they are denigrating the other parent.
Excerpts from social media may also be used as evidence of drug and alcohol abuse or criminal activity, which may also go towards whether it is in a child’s best interests to live or spend time with that parent.
It’s important to be careful of what information you post on any form of social media as someone may take a screen shot of that post to use as evidence, even if you delete it later.
If you are seeking legal advice in relation to a family law matter please call Cristina Huesch, Sharla Stevens or Angela Li at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.