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Our experienced Avoid Family Law Facebook Mistakes lawyers warn spouses, misguided friends and extended family members from foolishly using social media during divorce separation proceedings.

  • Is your Ex-Partner posting negative comments regarding your family law matter on Facebook?
  • Want to know if you can stop your ex-partner from posting negatively about you on Facebook?

In today’s blog by Gurdeep Randhawa of our Vancouver family law office, Gurdeep points out how posting about your spouse’s shortcomings really shows you cannot put your children’s best interest ahead of your own desire for payback.  Courts will likely find you to be you a good parent who loves your children more than you dislike your ex-spouse when you do not lash out in private, in public or on social media.

Learning how to avoid family law facebook mistakes may be the difference between winning or losing your family law case. To learn about examples where social media postings have hurt a spouse’s outcome in a family law case meet with us today.

Avoid Family Law Facebook Mistakes Call 1 877 602 9900

Social media is persistent in all aspects of our lives. We live in the era of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, and other means of connecting through social media.

We have more means of communicating with one another and expressing ourselves publicly than ever before. In the context of family law, disputes are often emotional, personal and high conflict. Comments made on social media can impact family relationships, including children who are oftentimes caught in the middle. It is critical that you avoid family law facebook mistakes.

If you have a social media presence, anything you say, do, write, or post will be available to the Court should you post things publicly, and in some cases, even if your social media settings are set to “private.” 

New Case 

In a recent B.C. Supreme Court decision in Butchart v. Pannell, 2019 BCSC 599, Madame Justice MacDonald discussed the implications when an ex-spouse is posting negatively about the ex on Facebook. Her failure to Avoid Family Law Facebook Mistakes ended up helping her ex-spouse remain a guardian and win 50/50 shared parenting time.

In Butchart v. Pannell, the parties were divorced on August 30, 2018, and share two children together who are 11 and 9 years old. The proceedings between the parties are high-conflict and acrimonious. At issue are matters relating to child support, parenting arrangements, spousal support, and imputation of income.

The ex-wife, Ms. Butchart was posting content on her Facebook page where she calls her ex-husband, Mr. Pannell a “deadbeat dad” and airs their issues, and some of the children’s issues, to a large group of Facebook users. She admitted that she did not have privacy protections in place when she wrote these posts. Madame Justice MacDonald found that Facebook posts undermined Mr. Pannell’s reputation and contributed to his stress.

The Court stated that instead of showing insight into the negative impact of the posts, Ms. Butchart testified that she has recently tightened her privacy settings. Today Mr. Pannell would have to look very deep to find her posts. She testified that there is no court order preventing her from talking about the trial.

Most importantly, Madame Justice MacDonald stated that:

[143]     These responses [of Ms. Butchart] fail to recognize how troubling such posts are to the parties’ ongoing relationship and the negative impact they have on their children. Such posts are certainly not in the best interests of the children. I order that Ms. Butchart cease posting comments about Mr. Pannell and about the children’s counseling on Facebook or any other social media.

The Court further ordered that the parties shall have shared week on week off parenting of the Children and rejected Ms. Butchart’s claim for sole guardianship of the Children because the Family Law Act presumes both parents are guardians and that the court should try to ensure maximum contact by children to both of their parents.

No doubt the Judge and her decision on the mother’s parenting capacity was impacted by the mother’s foolish facebook posts that criticized the husband and spoke of the children being in counseling. It is a cautionary tale on why it is critical you must avoid family law facebook mistakes.

Remember, before you take any action in your family case, think ” do I love my children more than I dislike my ex-spouse?” Let that rule guide your actions. If you don’t, a judge hearing your case is unlikely to be sympathetic to you.

Call our top-rated* family lawyers to meet with us at any of our 6 offices across BC and in Calgary Alberta at 1 877 602 9900

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