It can be upsetting when an ex-partner posts photos of your child on social media without permission. However, in most cases it is not illegal. There are some steps you can take to request they are removed or limited. Communicating directly, reporting images that breach platform rules, or applying for a court order in serious cases, may help resolve the issue. But outcomes depend on the circumstances.
What does the law say about posting photos of children online?
There is no specific law prohibiting parents from posting photos of their children online. However, parents do have a duty to act in their child’s best interests.
Posting inappropriate, embarrassing or revealing photos could be against a child’s welfare. Sharing detailed location data or information also raises safety concerns.
Images that are indecent or sexualise a child are illegal. Personally identifiable photos also engage a child’s right to privacy under data protection laws.
Provided photos are suitable and the child’s safety is ensured, a parent can generally post images online without the other parent’s consent.
When does posting photos become a legal issue?
Legal issues can arise if:
- Photos are inappropriate, indecent or risky for the child.
- Posting breaches platform rules on child privacy.
- Locations, details or metadata endanger the child.
- Images are shared after the other parent has objected.
- Photos are used to harass the other parent.
- Posting breaches a court order limiting publication.
In these cases, legal action may be required to protect the child and enforce proper standards.
Can I ask my ex to remove photos from social media?
You can ask your ex-partner to delete or limit photos of your child on social media. However, they are not legally obliged to comply just because you are the other parent.
Try to resolve the issue amicably. Explain your concerns and ask them to refrain from posting without your consent in future. Suggest reasonable guidelines you both agree on.
If they refuse, social media reporting procedures and informal legal letters could apply further pressure to remove images. But your options are limited if their posts do not breach platform policies or laws.
Should I report inappropriate photos to social media sites?
If your ex has posted inappropriate, sexualised or humiliating photos of your child, you should report this to the social media platform.
Facebook, Instagram and other sites have rules against sharing other people’s personal information or images without consent. They also prohibit nudity or sexual content involving children.
Make a formal complaint highlighting how their content violates the platform’s community standards. Request it is removed promptly.
The site should investigate and delete the photos if they breach rules. But outcome times can vary.
When do I need a court order to stop online posts?
Going to court for a formal order should be a last resort. But it may be necessary if your ex continues posting inappropriate photos or details about your child after you have objected.
A family court can issue orders restricting online publication if it is in the child’s best interests. For example, prohibiting photos, naming, location details, or requiring social media accounts to be kept private.
Breach of a court order carries serious penalties, including fines or jail for contempt. Seek legal advice to apply for orders if informal requests fail.
What are the rules when separating or divorcing?
When parents separate, it is advisable to agree on social media guidelines regarding children as part of a parenting plan. This can prevent issues arising later.
- Obtaining each other’s consent before posting photos of the child.
- Not posting details identifying or locating the child.
- Making children’s online accounts private.
- Removing old posts, photos or data during separation.
Also seek legal advice about formal consent orders if needed. These can restrict social media contact with the child.
Can I get photos removed from ex’s social media?
|Ask ex-partner politely to delete||Quickest if ex cooperates, but not enforceable|
|Report to social media provider||If content breaches rules, may get removed|
|Send legal letter from lawyer||Adds pressure but may not achieve removal|
|Apply for court order||Can formally restrict posting but slow process|
As the table shows, outcomes depend on the ex’s cooperation and whether rules or laws are broken by their posts.
What safety tips should I follow online during separation?
Practicing good online safety habits can help minimise risks of content being misused on social media during separation:
- Make your own accounts private, change passwords.
- Avoid venting or posting details of disputes publicly.
- Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want the other parent to see.
- Enable maximum privacy settings on children’s accounts.
- Delete or archive old posts, photos and details if needed.
- Save copies of concerning posts by your ex as evidence.
- Seek legal advice about handling social media during separation.
Following this type of guidance can help reduce risks and make it easier to address any problem use of social media by an ex-partner.
What arrangements for photos should I agree during divorce?
Agreements setting guidelines for posting photos of children online should be considered during divorce proceedings. This provides clarity for both parents going forward.
Issues to address may include:
- Gaining written consent from the other parent before posting photos of the child.
- Limiting identifiable details like school, location, date of birth etc.
- Making children’s online accounts private.
- Restrictions on posting photos of the other parent.
- Removing any existing photos, posts or data deemed inappropriate.
- Requiring notice before opening any new social media accounts for the child.
Document agreed social media arrangements as part of your final divorce order. This makes them legally binding and enforceable.
What are my options if my ex won’t comply?
If your ex will not cooperate with informal requests about social media use, your options include:
- Report to social media providers to remove specific content breaching policies.
- Send a ‘cease and desist’ letter from a lawyer demanding problematic posts be deleted.
- Apply for civil harassment, stalking or restraining orders if posting is malicious.
- Seek a family court order prohibiting certain posts or restricting online access.
- Ask police to intervene if behaviour becomes threatening or abusive.
But prospects of achieving deletion or restraint via these channels depends on proving harm. Many online posts by an ex are likely still lawful without consent.
How can I gain consent before my ex posts photos after separation?
To gain consent from your ex-partner before they post photos or information about your child online after separating, options include:
- Informal agreement – Ask ex to agree not to post without your approval first.
- Written agreement – Document consent process required from each other in a signed agreement.
- Parenting plan order – Include consent conditions in your formal parenting plan.
- Court order – Apply specifically to restrain social media use involving the child.
Gaining genuine consent requires your ex’s cooperation unless orders are in place. Even then, monitoring and enforcement can be difficult. But formalising arrangements should help minimise unapproved posting.
How can I manage my child’s photos and information online after divorce?
It is important to proactively manage your child’s photos and information online after divorce to minimise risks. Strategies include:
- Review and tighten privacy settings on your child’s social media accounts.
- Remove identifying details like date of birth, location, school names etc.
- Agree rules with your ex about what types of photos can be posted.
- Obtain written consent from the other parent for any new photos you wish to post.
- Request the prompt removal of any concerning posts by your ex.
- Monitor your child’s online presence and activity regularly.
- Educate your child about online safety, privacy settings and reporting concerns.
Staying vigilant, communicating with your ex-partner, and involving your child will help achieve a balance between online safety, your rights, and recording their childhood memories.
Achieving agreement with an ex-partner about posting photos or information about your child online after separation can be challenging but important for the child’s wellbeing.
Try to be reasonable,set guidelines collaboratively, and formalise arrangements in consent orders if possible. This provides a framework if disputes arise later.
Remember, in most cases simply objecting does not make posting by your ex illegal unless images or data are inappropriate. But platforms or courts can assist if boundaries are crossed.
With patience and some compromise, in most situations it should be possible to establish an approach that respects both parents’ roles, while protecting your child’s safety and privacy.