Facebook can be a helpful tool in creating lasting relationships, but its use in divorce filings is becoming more prominent as well.
UK divorce website Divorce-Online carried out a survey in December 2011 that found Facebook showed up in 33 percent of behavior petitions; increased from 20 percent when the same survey was conducted in December 2009.
Since the 2009 survey, the reasons for Facebook being cited as evidence have not changed. The most prominent reason was a spouse’s interaction with the opposite sex on Facebook. Other prominent reasons included using Facebook to comment on exes pages after the couple had split or attacking the spouse’s wall during the divorce proceedings.
The top three reasons according to Divorce-Online are:
1. Inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex.
2. Separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other.
3. Facebook friends reporting spouse’s behavior.
In comparison, Twitter was only mentioned 20 times in divorce filings, which puts it at only 0.4 percent. It was still used in the same way, however, with exes making comments about each other.
“Social networking has become the primary tool for communication and is taking over from text and e-mail in my opinion,” a spokesperson for Divorce-Online said. “If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex then the easiest place to do it. Also the use of Facebook to make comments about ex partners to friends has become extremely common with both sides using Facebook to vent their grievances against each other. People need to be careful what they write on their walls as the courts are seeing these posts being used in financial disputes and children cases as evidence.”
In a similar study conducted in the US in 2009, Facebook was blamed for 20 percent of divorces. There has not been a similar study conducted in the US since then, so it’s hard to make a comparison between the US and UK in this regard.