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A survey carried out by UK divorce website Divorce Online in December 2009 found that 20% of behaviour petitions contained the word “Facebook.”.

A follow-up survey in December 2011 has found that number has alarmingly increased during 2011 to 33% of unreasonable behaviour based petitions. 5000 petitions were queried as in the 2009 sample.

The most common reasons where Facebook was cited as evidence was once again relating to spouses behaviour with the opposite sex but also spouses using Facebook to make comments about their exes once they had separated and used their public walls as weapons in their divorce battle.

These comments can make reaching a divorce settlement more difficult and in our experience, it often ends up costing thousands more to obtain a consent order.

Top three reasons

1) Inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex.

2) Separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other.

3) Facebook friends reporting spouse’s behaviour.

Twitter only appeared in 20 petitions as part of behaviour allegations, and again it was the use of Twitter as a communication tool to make comments about exes that featured in most tweets.

Mark Keenan a spokesman for Divorce-Online said “Social networking has become the primary tool for communication and is taking over from text and e-mail in my opinion. 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 about what they write on their walls as the courts are seeing these posts being used in financial disputes and children cases as evidence.”

Final Thoughts

As more people around the UK and the world get access to social media it’s only likely to continue to contribute in some way to souring breakups.

Divorce is expensive and long-winded enough without the additional acrimony caused by using social media in the wrong way.

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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