With so many people using social media, more Divorce Solicitors are finding Facebook and Twitter being used more in divorce cases.
Whether it's to prove their ex is involved in anther relationship, to confirm an engagement in financial proceedings, to prove they are living a lifestyle incompatible with their declared financial position, or to show they are hostile towards continuing contact between their ex and the children.
Divorce Solicitors are now finding themselves having to advise clients from the outset to be mindful what they post on such social networking sites. It's often the case that the ex has been deleted as a friend on Facebook, or unfollowed on Twitter, but what people forget is that the ex’s friends are usually still connected and can see all of your status updates.
This can include where you are going on holiday, your current job, new partners and even whether you are living together. When a relationship breaks down, the other party are normally interested in finding out what you are doing and therefore may even seek out this information.
This can cause problems if a client instructs their Divorce Solicitor on one thing and is then presented with evidence suggesting something different. Being caught out can affect credibility in divorce court proceedings. Judges in particular, do not look favourably on people who have been shown to withhold the truth in order to protect their position. In fact, on the rare occasion, it may even lead to a person being penalised for this behaviour, financially.
Whilst social networking is the most common method of finding out what people consider to be private information, divorce clients also need to be aware of Google. Google holds a wealth of information, and is frequently used by Divorce Solicitors and clients alike to find information from property details and property ownership, to companies registered at Companies House. It is therefore very important to be honest with your Divorce Solicitor from the start.
Rachel Furniss is a Paralegal in the Family Law team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Milton Keynes.
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