Discussion

Michaelson & Michaelson [2017] FamCA 174 (23 March 2017)

This case summary is another example demonstrating one parents conduct post separation that included social media; this was an international relocation case where the children (17 & 13 years) expressed firmly their refusal of seeing the father and their desire to relocate with the mother to the UK.

Post separation the fathers conduct greatly upset the children; this included but is not limited to: posting comments about the family breakup on Facebook to be seen by all. The boys saw the posts and some comments on the father’s posts were derogatory of the mother.He also posted on Facebook a copy of the temporary protection order that was made against him, it identified the children, the mother and their address, a number of comments on the post were made and some were derogatory of the mother. Additionally, the father posted a photo of himself holding a sign criticising the mother for withholding the children from him, many of the posts were on a public Facebook page called ‘the Australian Brotherhood of Fathers.

It was determined the father demonstrated a lack of insight into how his behaviour affects the children. The relationship was so impaired between them, it was established the children were “likely to further resent their father” if they were unable to relocate. The order was granted for the boys to relocate with the mother with hopes it would assist in some way in repairing their broken relationship with the father.

ANYTHING you say or post on social media whether intentional, implied, and mistaken, including emails to the OP family can and will be used as evidence in Court.

This is why at FLAST.COM.AU we are managing it quite strictly in terms of member privacy.

As such we ask you to first register on our website FLAST.COM.AU and create an account, and then go one step further and create an anonymous profile.Using that Anon profile you can post a question in the section of the website AND in the QNA section.

FACTS SUMMARY:

  • The Mother and Father were married in 1995 and separated in 2015. They are now divorced.
  • The mother is a dual Australian and UK citizen. The father is an Australian citizen. They met in the UK and moved to Australia in 2001, where they have since resided.
  • Child B was born in 2000, and child C was born in 2006.
  • Before separation, the children had a good relationship with the father and he was involved in their care.
  • The father’s conduct after separation has disturbed the children.
  • 1 March 2016, an order was made by consent specifying for a psychologist to evaluate the children and if suitable to support their re-introduction to the father. The psychologist was not able to persuade the children to meet with the father so therapy did not proceed.
  • 26 March 2015, the father has spent no time with the children; they refuse to have anything to do with the father.
  • 24 August 2016, Ms E prepared a family report. The children refused to meet with the father, so the children were not observed with him. Ms E supports the mother and children relocating. 
  • The father contends the mother is causing the children to turn against him by providing them with misinformation.
  • The mother asserts the children have been negatively impacted by the father’s behaviour since separation and have developed their own view that they do not want to see the father.
  • The mother seeks to relocate to the UK where she has family and support; the children express their desire to relocate there as well.

ISSUE:

  • Is there any possibility of the children partaking in therapy to re-establish their relationship with the father?
  • Should a further interim order be made while therapy is attempted involving supervised time between the father and children and an update family report prepared in six months?
  • Should the mother relocate with the children to the UK?

HELD:

Orders were made for the Mother to have sole parental responsibility and the application for international relocation was granted, the children are able to spend time and communicate with the father upon their request.

In determining this matter the Judge looked to the legislative pathways of Part VII of the Family Law Act 1975, s 60B(1) Section 60B(2),Section 60CA ,Section 60CC,Section 60CGs 4 , s 4AB,Section 61DA,Section 65DAC.

It was established there was no point in making another interim order, the boys refuse to see the father, and pushing the matter will cause the children anxiety and will be counterproductive, the children’s views were given substantial weight due to their maturity.

The judge noted the father contends the children have been alienated by the mother however, the father ignores the boys’ own occurrences with him that may have led the children to form their views of him.

The Judge accepted Mrs E’s evidence that the mother “appeared to be supporting her son’s views rather than imposing her views upon them” the children are “likely to further resent their father” if they are prevented from relocating. Ms E recommended that the mother be able to relocate with the children to the UK, the family have significant support and relation to the UK.

The Judge suggests for the father to obtain therapy in order to gain some understanding into the children’s view of his behaviour and how he might begin to remedy that. 

 

Bradbury & Lander [2019] FamCA 22 ( 24 January 2019)

Can your Facebook posts be used against you as evidence in the Family Court?

YES IT CAN!

The Mother has contravened parenting orders by posting on Facebook domestic violence and narcissist material that were an implied reference about the father. It is important to note the father was not named in these posts.

The mother was required to prove to the court there was reasonable excuse for contravention. The mother was relying on the grounds there was a lack of understanding of her obligation that made her breach the orders.

The mother believes denigrating did not occur because she was speaking the ‘truth’ about the father on social media, although she also concedes that calling the father a “vile human being” could be denigrating. The mother claims she did not identify the father on social media.

The mother is an educated woman, and the court also deems her highly intelligent, moreover, the mother was also contacted by the husband’s lawyer that her conduct (that’s she fully concedes to) is a contravention of the orders and if she continues, it will be taken to court.

The mother was required to answer/prove specifically to the ‘lack of understanding’ this is just one example below were she may have gone awry.

[72] The Mother’s other claims, about the posts relating to domestic violence, or to her experiences in relation to domestic violence, do not explain either how they flow from a misunderstanding of the obligations attaching to the Orders, or how the posts were causally linked to such a misunderstanding.

There was insufficient evidence provided by the mother to the court that demonstrated she did not understand her obligations with social media nor that she didn’t understand the IMPLIED REFERENCE about the father, which is also covered by the prohibition against degeneration inthe orders.

What you can take away from this is ANYTHING you say or post on social media whether intentional, implied, and mistaken, including emails to the OP family can and will be used as evidence in Court.

This is why at FLAST.COM.AU we are managing it quite strictly in terms of member privacy.

As such we ask you to first register on our website FLAST.COM.AU and create an account, and then go one step further and create an anonymous profile.

Using that Anon profile you can post a question in the section of the website AND in the QNA section.

We will then share the Anon Post to FB as well, but your privacy is assured and you can interact with the Anon Profile and no one will know it was you.

With FREE membership you will be notified of case studies and have access to the FLAST network so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

For further information click the links below

WARNING: You could face imprisonment or a $2k fine

Snell & Snell and Ors (No. 5 [2015] FamCA 420 (12 May 2015)

[202] In evidence are examples of some of the father’s postings to his Facebook page over the period since the parents’ separation. I accept the mother’s evidence that at least some of those postings are intimidating and threatening in nature. The posting including a person holding a gun is a stark example. I reject the father’s assertions to the effect that this particular posting is some kind of joke. In my judgment the father has used at least some Facebook postings in a deliberate attempt to intimidate the motherI accept the submissions .

[329] I accept the submission on behalf of the ICL that it is in the child’s best interests and in his welfare for there to be an injunction requiring the father to remove the Facebook postings which identify the child or the mother. Both of them are entitled to their privacy and to their reputation, I therefore intend to impose such an injunction as a condition upon the other orders for the father to have time and communication.

The father was ordered:
To remove from Facebook or any online social networking service or any website, all references to any proceedings under this or any other Act that identifies:
    (a) The child;
    (b) The Mother;
    (c) A party to the proceedings;
    (d) Any other person who is related to, or associated with, a party to the proceedings or is in any other way concerned in the matter to which the proceedings relate; or
    (e) Any witness in the proceedings.

(7) The Father be restrained and an injunction is hereby granted, restraining him from publishing or otherwise disseminating to the public or to a section of the public over the Internet or by any other means, any account of any proceedings, or of any part of any proceedings, under this or any other Act that identifies:
    (a) The child;
    (b) The Mother;
    (c) A party to the proceedings;
(d) Any other person who is related to, or associated with, a party to the proceedings or is in any other way concerned in the matter to which the proceedings relate; or

(e) Any witness in the proceedings.
... or jump to: 2019
SSL Certificates