Relationship Status: Divorced

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Facebook and other social networking resources are becoming big factors when it comes to divorce, according to a new study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In fact, four out of every five  attorneys say they’ve seen an increase in the number of cases that use social media as evidence against an ex- or soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

Compromising photos, comments, messages and the like all provide dirt. “Facebook is a great source of evidence,” says divorce attorney Ken Altshuler in a story on telegraph.co.uk. “It’s absolutely solid evidence because [the spouse] is the author of it. How do you deny that you put that on?” Lee Rosen, another divorce attorney, says about 25% of his cases include incriminating information found on social media sites. Evidence might be Facebook photos posted by a mother who continually buys and wears expensive jewelry but claims she needs more child support. Or it might be pictures of secret lovers caught unaware.

Besides providing proof against a cheating mate, social networking sites, especially Facebook, have increased the ease of having an affair—physical and emotional—since it’s now fairly simple to find old flames and flirt.

All this makes me wonder how careful we are with both our own social networking profiles and marriages—not necessarily in that order. Are we talking as we should to people of the opposite sex? Are our comments above reproach? Would we mind if our spouse saw everything we wrote?

If we say we’re immune to divorce, we could actually be just a bit more vulnerable to it since our guard is down. So as we steer around the false intimacy that social networking can generate, let’s look out for emotional slippery slopes.

Who wrote this?

Meredith has had two careers: one as a writer/editor for both Focus on the Family and The Navigators, and one as an English teacher trekking far-flung corners of Europe, Africa and Asia. She now rejoins Focus, but with souvenirs—including new eyes with which to better view American culture.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  GDub:

Wow

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  McMurreysGirl:

I completely agree about the dangers of social networking sites. One example I noticed - there's a man who is the dad of one of my highschool friends. He's married, has three kids and one grandchild. Not only that, he's a youth pastor. Back when I used facebook, I avoided having male "friends" unless they were family, but I decided that it would be ok to accept his friend invitation. Well...at some point I noticed that he commented on a photograph of a young 20-something girl who was practically naked. He said, "Great pics WOOHOO!!!!" I was highly offended and embarrassed for his wife. I sent him a message telling him that I was offended, and then I deleted him from my friends list.

I think the best policy when it comes to sites like that is the one I just mentioned: If you're married (or even engaged), don't have friends of the opposite sex - not even online friends. It's not appropriate to talk one-on-one, or discuss personal issues, or flirt, or be overly interested in the life of a member of the opposite sex when you're in person - why should it be any different when you're online?

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  mommyofjandg:

Hello, I am divorced  now for two years, and my ex is in the military, and in deployed in Afghanistan. He spent two weeks with me and our two young sons before he left. It was very nice, and we agreed that we would work on getting back together. My only hang up or reservation is that I am afraid that once we re-marry and are living together again, he will eventually resort back to going out and partying and staying out to all hours of the night. We both agree that this is our major issue, how do we work through this?