Posted by Kit O'Brien, Senior Associate
Divorce and social media
Social media is now, for many of us, part our everyday lives affecting us in many ways, including our relationships. It has the power to bring couples together but on the opposite end of the spectrum it has also led to the breakdown of many relationships and is used by some as a voice box during divorce proceedings.
Experienced family lawyer, Kit O’Brien, with clients in Swindon, Marlborough and Wiltshire looks at some of the research on this issue and recommends her dos and don’t for those both in a relationship or going through a divorce.
What do the stats say?
According to various research sources social media has been the cause of many a couple’s row:
- Around 25% of couples argue about excessive social media use.
- Just under 50% of all adults admit that they have secretly checked their partners Facebook account.
- Of those 20% said that what they found had led to an argument!
Secrets can be extremely destructive in a relationship:
- One in ten people who took part in a 2015 survey admitted hiding images and posts from their partner.
- 8% admitted having secret social media accounts – but don’t assume that you’ll avoid problems by keeping your log in details to yourself because,
- 58% of those surveyed claimed that they knew their partner’s log in details!
Dos and don’ts
1. ‘All that glitters is not gold.’
While some people reflect the reality of their lives in their social media posts, many will post an enhanced version. Bear that in mind if you’re rekindling an old relationship because their life looks so much more exciting than yours.
2. Talk don’t stalk.
If you see something on your partner’s social media that worries you or if you’re feeling the need to use it to keep tabs on them, then there are clearly trust issues in your relationship. Talk about your concerns with your partner before a crack becomes a fault line.
3. A rant on social media may feel good but won’t help with an amicable resolution.
If your relationship breaks down, social media can seem like an attractive place for you to rant about what’s happened. And it might make you feel better for a bit. But your rantings will undoubtedly find their way back to your ex and that won’t help you achieve an amicable resolution of the issues between you.
4. Don’t use social media to boast about your circumstances.
If you’re going through divorce financial negotiations and pleading poverty, pictures of your new car and expensive watch on Facebook will undoubtedly come back to haunt you. Remember, most lawyers have Facebook too and it’s pretty routine now for them to check to see whether anything’s being posted that is completely at odds with what they’re being told.
5. Remember that sites such as Facebook don’t vanish.
Don’t post anything that you really wouldn’t like to be printed off and brought into evidence in a divorce dispute.
For legal advice following a relationship breakdown contact a member of our family law team on
0800 923 2074 Email us
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