Social media and divorce: Part I

Within the last decade, the world of social media has exploded as people of all ages increasingly turn to the Internet to connect and communicate with others. As evidence of social media’s far reach, the Pew Research Center estimates that, today, 71 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook, 26 percent use Instagram and 23 percent, Twitter.

People of all ages and walks of life readily use social media websites to connect with both old and new friends and colleagues, share photos and voice their opinions on a variety of topics. While these types of social activities may seem harmless enough, research shows that social media use is the source of many arguments between spouses.

A recent UK poll of 2,000 married individuals revealed that, for nearly 25 percent, social media use was the source of “at least one argument a week.” Additionally, a 2010 survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, showed that eight out of 10 divorce attorneys reported an increase in the “number of cases using social networking evidence,” as compared to the previous five years. Today, that number is likely even higher with suspicious and unhappy spouses routinely turning to social media to find clues of a husband’s or wife’s affair, excessive spending or late-night partying.

For individuals who plan to or who are in the midst of a divorce, it’s important to understand how social media can both benefit and hurt one during divorce and child custody proceedings. In our next blog post, we’ll detail the types of evidence an individual may be able to discover via social media about a soon-to-be ex as well as provide advice about how to make sure one’s own social media use won’t negatively impact one’s own divorce success.

Source: Huffington Post, “Stay Off Social Media (Or Risk Divorce), New Survey Says,” Brittany Wong, April 30, 2015

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