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Can social media lead to divorce and affect a final settlement?

Divorce is often hard enough without outside sources weighing in. The world we live in is shared online for just about everyone else to see. A vast majority of the population here in Massachusetts and across the country often turn to sites such as Facebook or Google Plus to share everything about their lives — the good and the bad. In some cases, the information shared has led to requests for divorce and even affected final divorce settlements.

Recent studies suggest that information shared on the popular social media site, Facebook, has been cited in approximately a third of divorce cases. As the divorce rate in this country is still considered to be relatively high, this affects quite a few couples. One of the most commonly cited issues with social media sites is infidelity. As intended, these sites connect people, but these connections can, unfortunately, be damaging to a marriage.

Along with citing a spouse’s use of social media as grounds for divorce, any posts on these sites can be used in court to help either party achieve a settlement in their favor. For example, those claiming economic hardship as their inability to pay child support or alimony, but who post pictures of a vacation, a new car or other significant expense, may not be taken seriously and will likely have their plea of economic hardship dismissed. Conversations can also be easily taken out of context and twisted to fit the needs of the other spouse in the attempt to gain certain items during a divorce settlement.

At the end of the day, social media can be considered both a good and bad thing, and how it affects every marriage is different. For some in Massachusetts, these sites may not create any issues, but for others, the things posted can destroy relationships and greatly affect the outcome of a divorce settlement. Regardless of how these accounts are used and what information is posted, it is possible to negotiate a divorce agreement that is satisfactory for both parties.

Source: abcactionnews.com, “”Till death do us part” unless Facebook causes you to divorce first”, Jason Beisel, Jan. 21, 2015

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