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Social media use relevant in domestic violence proceedings

By August 23, 2016No Comments

Questions are being raised about the use of social media in the courtrooms, particularly in relation to the courts’ granting of domestic violence orders.

In an article in Australasian Lawyer, one family lawyer is quoted as saying that “sparring via social media could easily cross the line into domestic violence”, when one partner has taken out a DVO against their ex.

The lawyer refers to the alleged social media war between high profile couple Salim and Aisha Mehajer, who has taken out an AVO against her husband, and questioned whether Salim Mehajer’s use of the social media platform Instagram would “look good” to a family court judge and whether such social publishing could “backfire” on separating couples, “especially if they are seeking parenting orders”:

“If you have kids it doesn’t look great to a judge if you have posted ‘eleventy-billion’ messages about your ex, and if you are trying to co-parent it makes this process harder,” said the Accredited Family Law Specialist.

Mehajer could be “violating his wife’s AVO by monitoring her social media pages, noting that “under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 the definition of domestic violence includes unauthorised surveillance of a person such as monitoring a person’s account with a social networking internet site.”

Experts believe the use of social media can be harmful when people are breaking up, when it becomes the only way a couple communicates and because of the nature of fighting things out in public.

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Do you need advice on a family law matter? Please contact Cristina Huesch or one of our solicitors on (02) 6223 2400 for friendly, confidential advice. You first no-obligation conference is free.


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