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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Facebook now present in 33 percent of divorce filings

Divorce in Massachusetts can involve many issues including child support, child custody and division of financial assets. In some divorce cases, these issues can be contentious for a couple. And in an increasing number of cases, these issues and the intensity of the debate over them can be exacerbated by social media websites such as Facebook.

Those who have kept up with our blog know that we wrote about Facebook and divorce back in February. In that post, we described how Facebook is increasingly a factor in couples' decisions to divorce. It now appears that social media websites such as Facebook contribute to a third of all filings for dissolutions across the country. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the number of divorce cases that used the word "Facebook" in their filing documents increased to 33 percent in recent years. This up from a much lower 20 percent a few years ago.

The reasons that social media can affect a marriage and a divorce are many. For some, the website can facilitate connecting with old relationships at the peril of a current marriage. This includes rekindling old high school romances or encouraging online dating. In other instances, the use of such websites increases the jealously and suspicion of the other spouse to such an extent that they can no longer remain married.

In addition, some authorities note that there has been an increase in the number of cases where information from websites such as Facebook is used in child custody matters. Whether it plays a role in causing the divorce or later issues, it seems that Facebook continues to influence the outcome of a couple's decision to dissolve their marriage in many different ways.

Source: ABC News, "Third of all divorces cite Facebook," Sydney Lupkin, May 24, 2012

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