Facebook has made news this week thanks to its somewhat lackluster IPO. It's now in the news for a different and surprising reason, a survey revealed that in 2011 one-third of all divorce filing contained the word “Facebook.” The Wall Street Journal mentioned the shocking statistic and highlighted the news that 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys believe social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Attorneys cite examples of Facebook being brought up in the course of depositions, as evidence of infidelity or children's pages being used to prove bad parenting. Once the information is released into the world it's impossible to get it back and remains ripe for the picking when a contentious divorce arises.
Only three years ago 20% of all divorce filings contained the word “Facebook.” Today that number stands at 33%, according to the AAML. Though the percentage increased the main reasons for the mentions have remained the same: inappropriate messages to people of the opposite sex and cruel comments between separated spouses.
One expert who researchers the relationship behavior of college students said that breaking up via Facebook is way for some to permanently end a relationship that has been dragging on for far too long. Doing something that is so public is a good way to air dirty laundry and ensures that no attempt at reconciliation occurs.
Comfortingly, the same expert says that there are instances where couples chose to deactivate their social media accounts in an attempt to save the relationship. By their nature Facebook posts are tiny glimpses of information provided without context and such snapshots of conversations can create jealousy and hurt feelings. Couples can become suspicious and start electronically stalking each other. Quitting entirely is a strategy some have employed to break the vicious cycle.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of a separation or divorce, whether due to adultery or other reasons, you need the help of an experienced South Carolina family law attorney to guide you through the difficult process.