When should I post about my case on social media?
If it’s on social media it’s known to the Family Court
OK – that’s a slight exaggeration but if you are in the Family Court be care. It is a good assumption to make. If you put it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instragram, etc. everyone can see it.
`But I have locked down my account and no one can see it!’ I hear you cry. It’s what everyone always says in court, just after they have faced hostile questions by an aggressive solicitor or barrister. Or what they say when they’ve just seen the screenprints of that Facebook post where they have given their honest and considered opinion of the judge, solicitor, barrister, the ex and the CAFCASS officer. There may be pictures of you `refreshed’ after a night on the town to get over the hearing where your ex accused you of alcoholism.
The Family Court will take the information it has into consideration.
So the answer to the question `When should I post on social media about my case is easy’.
The answer is `…whenever you are happy for anything you say online to be read and used against you in court’.
Of course you have a right to post whatever you like online as long as you’re not breaking the law. You can point this out to anyone who will listen. You can talk about complaining to the manager/regulatory authority/your MP about how your right to privacy has been breached.
The Family Court won’t care – it is interested in the best interests of the child and not your privacy. You may be told that it’s a separate matter you should deal with elsewhere (as in `not in this court room’).
It doesn’t matter how much you lock your Facebook account down either. Or how careful you are with your friends. Or how complicated your password is.
Truth is…if you publish it, it will be seen somehow. I’ve seen and heard the above a thousand times. I’ve seen and heard people cross examined on their comments. I’ve seen cases swing on a Facebook page or picture.
But none of this will matter on the day, in court, with the other party doing every thing it can to discredit your case and promote it’s own. The other party will often happily take a ticking off from the court too – they’re not going to lose their job, receive a fine or anything like that. But there’s a good chance they may make their client very, very happy if the result is one they like and you don’t.
You don’t want to waste your time fighting a second battle with people when you should be concerned with one and one alone – the matter in hand. Again. Keep your eye on the ball and don’t get distracted.