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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A Third Party in a Marriage? Beware of Social Networking Sites

Emma Peart, Family law Solicitor discusses the recent research regarding Social Networking sites and the breadown of marriages.


social networking sites and divorce rates
Social networking sites are being cited more and more commonly as one of the reasons why a marriage has fallen apart. Technology in modern society is perhaps giving people more opportunities to contact or stay in contact with ex-partners or members of the opposite sex.
The initial research carried out by Divorce-Online. co.uk, incredibly, cites that 1 in 3 divorces link social websites to being a cause of the breakdown of the marriage.
This statistic can be seen to follow social networking's rise in publicity perhaps,

given that there has been an increase of 13% usage since 2009.

So why have social websites effected so many marriages?
The survey done by Divorce-Online states that it is generally contact that their spouse is having with a member of the opposite sex (generally in an inappropriate manner) on these sites that causes problems. However those surveyed have also stated that comments by their spouse about them or friends commenting on the spouse’s behaviour also led to conflict.

The popularity of online social networking is certainly fuelling the breakdown of marriage, and this recent research shows that 'cyber-straying' is becoming more and more common. If you are keeping anything from your spouse it is also much easier to find these things out if you are communicating with others via online networking sites and more and more divorce cases are using comments on websites by their spouse as evidence of unreasonable behaviour.


It will remain to be seen if people learn their lessons and start to keep their relationships off the cyber highways or whether this situation will actually get worse as more and more people use online networking.


Emma Peart is a Solicitor who specialises in Family Law and Litigation. She helps to run a 'drop-in' Legal Clinic at The Law Store, The Glades in Bromley. No appointments needed. The Law Store is run by MTA Solicitors LLP, and is a new way to receive legal advice and services.