Before You Reach for Your Mobile Phone….
So, you are currently a party in proceedings before the Family Court of Western Australia. The process has been very emotional and stressful and your relationship with your former partner is very strained. You are doing your best to ensure the best for your children, but you have some real concerns about the behaviour of your former partner, your children or another person involved. You have spoken to your lawyer about this concerning behaviour and it has been raised in your proceedings. You want to do more. You want to be able to show your lawyer and the Family Court of Western Australia the behaviour. You want people to see just how concerned you are and how much you want the behaviour to change. But how can you do this? You reach for your phone and you start recording. But you stop and think for a second… is this okay? This is a very common question and one that our team of family lawyers are asked very often. Video footage in some circumstances can be a very useful tool in evidencing behaviour before the Family Court of Western Australia. The Court and the other parties can then view the footage, reflect on the behaviour and work out ways to manage the behaviour. However, in some matters, the use of video footage can have serious negative consequences to your matter. When considering any video footage, the Family Court of Western Australia will likely consider the method of obtaining the footage, the relevance to the matter and the degree to which the footage can assist to determine the issues before the Court. The Court will also look at whether the knowledge and consent of the people that feature in the footage was obtained. Video footage of children can also be very relevant in family law proceedings, but you should proceed with great caution. This is because it can be and often is considered that the children have been coached or coerced to make the footage or the simple act of videoing the children in a potentially emotional and vulnerable state is harmful to them. Before you reach for your phone make sure you speak to one of our Divorce and Family lawyers and obtain legal advice about obtaining and then using any footage and how it can affect your family law matter.