Can Facebook end your marriage? Does Facebook add to divorcing couples’ stress? Experts agree: the answer is yes. ABC News reports that one-third of divorce filings mention or implicate Facebook in some way. Furthermore, social media, online sharing, and text messaging often complicate the modern divorce process, according to The Huffington Post and Forbes. Here’s why Facebook causes married couples to split and continues to pose problems throughout the mediation and divorce process:
Excessive Facebook Use May Be An Indication of Infidelity
Facebook is most likely to come up in initial filings for at-fault and uncontested divorces in one of three ways, ABC News reveals. First, spouses file for a split owing to inappropriate messages suggesting or proving infidelity. Second, demeaning communications — in the form of Facebook messages, statuses, or wall posts — may be used to justify divorce proceedings. Finally, friends and family may reveal partners’ infidelity, vices, and/or questionable behaviors over Facebook.
Moreover, a University of Missouri study suggests that excessive Facebook use may destroy healthy relationships. The study states, “Individuals who use Facebook excessively are far more likely to experience Facebook…related conflict with their romantic partners, which then may cause negative relationship outcomes including emotional and physical cheating, breakup, and divorce.”
Facebook Messages Fair Game in Court
“More than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise,” ABC News reveals, citing research from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Today’s family divorce lawyers, family law specialists, and courts are much more likely to subpoena Facebook posts and messages to confirm infidelity, or even prove a parent’s emotional or mental inability to raise their children, ABC adds. Forbes reminds divorcees, “Family lawyers advise their clients not to put anything in an email, a text message, online or anywhere that they don’t want the judge to read. In the context of a divorce, if either party has shared information digitally that is at odds with what they’ve conveyed in person, or in legal documents, it can create serious problems.”
Whether Facebook contributed to the dissolution of your marriage, or is likely to play a role in divorce proceedings, find a family lawyer and schedule a divorce lawyer free consultation for advice. Continue your research here.