There have been mentions in Australian news recently that internet "metadata" which was ostensibly collected for national security purposes may be made available for civil cases (abc.net.au). People's primary concern is that this could be used by rightsholders in copyright cases, but there are also mentions of it being used in divorce cases.

My question is why any evidence is necessary in divorce related matters in Australian courts - my understanding of "no fault" divorce was that no "evidence" is relevant, and a divorce requires nothing more than one party choosing to pursue one. If this is the case, why would evidence come into play? Without "no fault" divorce I could see records of internet use or other evidence being used to prove breaches of trust/pre-nuptial agreements, but if that's not required, why are people talking about internet metadata being used in these cases?

1 Answer 1


It isn't relevant to the divorce, it may be relevant to post-divorce custody arrangements and/or associated domestic violence issues.

Divorces are often acrimonious and the Family Court has to consider conflicting claims that one or the other of the parents is violent or otherwise unfit to have custody or that court orders are not being complied with. Metadata could be used to support or oppose such assertions.

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