Divorce and the role of social media

Is nothing sacred these days?  No is the simple answer.  Certainly not marriage, which I predict will become a success for gays and a disaster for most straights in a few years time.  Gays are keen to keep it together and straights know Domesday is just round the corner.  I’m kidding.  But it seems that in our divorce-ridden times, social media is being marked out as a culprit.

Here’s a sobering statistic to back up that claim.  81% of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (yes, such an organisation exists) claim that social media has been used as an evidence source by warring couples.  One in five American divorces, it is claimed, have ended with Facebook playing a part.  Not that Facebook did anything bad per se – its users are the sinners.  But to hear people talk, you’d think Facebook had somehow encouraged the infidelity or anti-social behaviour.

So how does social media break up marriages?  A divorce lawyer explained to Forbes magazine.

We’re sharing personal and professional news, triumphs and tragedies, laughs and tears . . . . and lots and lots of pictures. Unfortunately, though, we sometimes do this without thinking through all the potential consequences. Not every “friend” is a friend. Not every connection is an ally. And many times, a message you thought was private turns out to be anything but.

And when the divorce is underway – social media becomes a resource used in the most hateful and horrible ways.  Anyway who has ever seen the darkly humorous movie War Of The Roses, about a vicious divorce, will know that anything goes when husband and wife call the lawyers in. Our legal friend in Forbes details how the wife can find out what assets are being hidden by the husband by trawling social media exchanges.  She may even get her lawyers to examine dating websites to see what he says about his prowess and how that compares to his legal statements.

So – how on earth does a wife or a husband protect themselves from prying lawyers – what are the do’s and dont’s for social media?  Fortunately, there’s an information graphic to guide you (assuming you have a problem) through the pitfalls.

social media divorce

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