According to lawyers at the law firm, Divorce-Online, Facebook is becoming a major factor in marriage breakdowns, and is increasingly being used as a source of evidence in divorce cases. The social networking site was cited as a reason for a third of divorces filed with Divorce-Online last year, in which unreasonable behavior was a factor.
The firm said it has seen a fifty per cent leap in the number of behavior-based divorce petitions that contained the word ‘Facebook’ in the past two years. In fact, a third of all the 5,000 petitions filed with Divorce-Online just in the past year mentioned Facebook. Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online, states, “Facebook has become the primary method for communicating with friends for many people. People contact ex-partners, and messages that start as innocent, soon lead to trouble. If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex, then it’s the easiest place to do it.”
The most common reasons for Facebook causing problems in relationships were a spouse finding flirty messages, photos of a partner at a party that they didn’t know about, or of them with someone that they should not have been with. A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that Facebook is cited in one of five divorces in the United States. Also, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported a rising number of people are using social media to engage in extramarital affairs.