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Social Media’s Effect on Divorce


Social media is constructive and beneficial in many ways, but not necessarily when it comes to marriage. Since this form of communication became a societal mainstay in the mid 2000’s, the rate of divorce has increased almost twenty percent, an astonishing statistic. Equally astonishing is the fact that, according to the American Association of Trial Lawyers, more than four out of every five divorce proceedings now include evidence culled from social media. Law schools in Arizona, are even teaching divorce law students how to incorporate social media findings into their arguments.

For one thing, social media sites have kept divorce lawyers busy as of late because they greatly expedite adultery. For example, if a spouse makes contact with an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend online, it can lead to Internet conversations about fondly-remembered times, which can lead to in-the-flesh meetings, which can lead to full-fledged affairs. In some cases, married people will even contact strangers, more or less at random, via social media. And what begins as a flirtatious online chat often turns into a real-life date.

Social media websites don’t merely harm marriages by facilitating cheating. They also provide forums on which angry married people can sound off against their partners after fights or whenever they feel annoyed. Sometimes, in a fit of pique, a person will log onto a Facebook or Twitter account, or a blog, and post nasty messages about his or her spouse without considering the consequences. If and when the other person in the relationship finds out about those postings, it so often causes estrangement and, yes, even divorce. In fact, nowadays more than a quarter of divorce proceedings involve angry social media messages. For whatever reason, women use this particular kind of evidence in court more often than men: about 27 percent of women versus about five percent of men.

So how can you protect your marriage and yourself in this brave new social media world? As much as possible, only make friends online with people you don’t find especially attractive. Post kind thoughts about your spouse every now and then. And if you do find yourself headed for divorce court, make sure you don’t claim anything under oath that your husband’s or wife’s lawyer could disprove through social media evidence. For example, don’t swear to the judge that you never drink alcohol when in the past you’ve posted photos on your Facebook account that show you chugging beers. The best advice that we can give is to think twice before posting information on a Social Network that can be used against you for any reason (divorce, career, legal, etc).

If you are going through a divorce in Arizona and would like to speak with an attorney for free, give us a call to schedule a free consultation at (602) 254-8880. Or send us an email through our secure email form.

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