Social Media Becoming a Leading Cause of Divorce

The Information Age has ushered in a wave of useful tools for modern living.  Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others are now ubiquitous fixtures in the daily lives of most Americans.  With this explosion of social media, Maryland divorce attorneyshave observed a few unintended side effects.  Despite their goal connect people, many of these social media outlets are actually becoming the leading causes for modern divorces.

Photo courtesy of john_a_ward

It doesn’t take a huge logical leap to understand why this phenomenon might be occurring.  Facebook, in particular, is the most extensive way to publish one’s own information on the internet.  Despite the availability of numerous privacy filters and security measures, most Facebook users post things about their private life that almost anyone can see.  Additionally, Facebook has the infrastructure to allow users to publish messages to as many or as few users as they wish.  Users can send a private message to a single person, shout out to only the users on their friends list, or speak their mind to the entire world.

While these features are innovative, mistakes occur all the time.  Think about the last time you mistakenly clicked “Reply-All” for an e-mail message when you meant to send something sensitive to a single person.  The same occurs on Facebook on a daily basis, with users mistakenly publishing to the world some messages that were meant for one person’s eyes only.  It is in this way that many Facebook users’ significant others learn of infidelity or an alternate lifestyle that they were unaware their partner maintained.  Countless divorces occur as a result of this kind of mishap.

Similarly, many divorces occur due to the prying eyes of a significant other who suspects their spouse is having an affair.  Facebook’s infrastructure allows an internet browser to save the login information of its users, meaning that someone other than the user could conceivably login to the account and discover evidence of infidelity.  Even if the account isn’t accessible this way, an inquiring individual need only input the user’s e-mail address and venture a few guesses if the user has a relatively weak password.

It is commonplace for prospective clients to meet with a Maryland divorce lawyer and present a folder full of Facebook messages and screenshots.  Citing these as evidence of an extra-marital affair, these clients ask their attorneys to file a divorce proceeding on fault-based grounds.  Evidence of infidelity from Facebook, by itself, is not indicative of fault.  However, it may be a good starting point for further investigation.  Some people might consider hiring a private investigator at this point, considering that fault may come into play in the determination of whether to award custody of children to the at-fault party.  Alimony awards may also be partially determined by fault.

Whatever the case, if you are considering divorce based on evidence you have collected from social media outlets, it is best to contact an experienced Maryland family law office for a consultation.  The right attorney is crucial if you intend to divorce  on the best emotional and financial terms.

See related blog posts

What Should I Bring to a Maryland Divorce Consultation

Evidence from Facebook Becoming More Common in Court

This entry was posted in Alimony, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Family Law and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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