Social Media a Growing Influence in Georgia Divorce
Social media websites like Facebook are increasingly part of everyday life. Unfortunately, marriage experts are seeing a huge spike in the influence of Facebook on failing relationships and divorce.
A British legal service company reports that Facebook played a role in one out of every three divorce filings in 2011. This represents a huge increase from just two years ago in 2009, when one in five cases mentioned Facebook. According to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, a large majority of U.S. divorce attorneys – over 80 percent – say social media is playing a growing role in divorce cases.
The Dangerous Impact of Social Media on Divorce
The impact of social media ranges from digital unfaithfulness to ammunition for child custody battles. Facebook makes it easy to stay in touch with exes and new love interests. Aggressive networking behavior like wall posts, messaging and commenting can spark rumors – real or imagined – of adultery. Experts find that people are less rational and more willing to take risks on social media than they might be in real life. For these reasons, many believe that using social media increases the chances of divorce.
Social media records are nearly impossible to sweep under the rug. Scandalous pictures of parties and possible partners increasingly appear in the legal aspects of divorce, like depositions and child custody disputes. Spouses often point to Facebook profiles as evidence of poor parental fitness or dishonesty. Further, divorcing spouses often carry on their battles in the social media space, leaving possible adverse evidence for use of the court.
As further proof, researchers have begun publishing books with titles like “The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting Over New Media,” illustrating the added complications of social media to the divorce process. Tellingly, many young couples interviewed by the author said deactivating Facebook was necessary to saving their relationships.
Spouses contemplating or in the middle of a divorce would be well advised to adjust their online behavior. Contact a Georgia divorce attorney for help navigating the perils of social media and the divorce process.