Is social media fueling divorce?

20 Sep 2019

Social networking sites, in particular Facebook, are being blamed for an increasing number of marital breakdowns.

With over two billion users all over the world, instead of bringing people together, it is often in part responsible for having the opposite effect. 

People are very easily able to contact old friends, schoolmates, ex-partners and old flames, with these connections sometimes leading to extra-marital relationships. And these liaisons have also become easier to discover, courtesy of Facebook.

Prior to online social networking, straying spouses may have been more discreet.  On shared computers their chats can be monitored by suspecting husbands or wives. Wall posts can also be incriminating and are often reported by a “friend” within the network.  There is no doubt Facebook has become a regular source of evidence. 

It is no longer a surprise to find Facebook mentioned in divorce petitions, usually when citing their spouse’s “behaviour”.

Once divorce proceedings are eventually issued, the role of Facebook does not seem to end there.  In some cases, a husband and wife although involved in an acrimonious divorce, remain Facebook friends. Although their marriage is in the process of ending, their every day lives remain in full view of each other.  Even where they are not friends on Facebook, if an individual’s privacy settings are low, or they have public profiles, an aggrieved spouse and their solicitor are likely to look through this virtual window.

Compromising pictures on Facebook of a spouse with their new partner can assist the other party’s case, in particular when the spouse claims that they are not cohabiting.  Some spouses who plead poverty when finances are being considered have a difficult time explaining how they managed to afford to go on a lavish holiday, as is evidenced by their tagged photos.

Profile pages and photo albums often assist building up a case, as do status updates and wall comments where contradictions are made to statements made within divorce proceedings. 

It isn’t possible to say how significant a role Facebook plays in divorce rates, but what is in no doubt is that it has an increasingly integral role in divorce proceedings.

Further reading

Commercial landlords face extended restrictions

Blog, Legal Updates
18/06/2021
Landlords take another hit as tenants’ protection mandated to last two years; Lawrence Morley takes a look
Read more Read

New Homes Quality Code – consultation under way

Blog, Legal Updates
14/06/2021
Now is the time for housing developers to contribute to the discussion about new quality code
Read more Read

Is changing terms of employment about to become more difficult?

Blog
10/06/2021
Employers beware. It may become more difficult to change terms of employment through the process of dismissal and re-engagement or “fire and rehire”.
Read more Read

Is the menopause really a business issue?

Blog
04/06/2021
Abigail Maino explores the extent to which employers should be supporting employees who may be struggling with symptoms of the menopause
Read more Read
  • Brighton Office

    1 Jubilee Street

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Gatwick Office

    Griffin House

    135 High Street

    Crawley

    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford Office

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road

    Guildford

    Surrey

    GU3 1LR

  • Horsham Office

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax

    Horsham

    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London Office

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane

    London

    EC4A 3BF

  • Get in touch