Excessive Facebook Use May Fuel Divorce

Social media sites have gained popularity throughout the years as a way to interact and connect with old or new friends. Facebook in particular is one of the most utilized social media sites in the world. Having the ability to share pictures, provide status updates, and play online games with “friends” on Facebook allows a person to remain occupied for hours.

Although its heightened popularity has become the preferred method of staying connected, Facebook has also become a reason for divorce. In fact, in a study conducted by a doctoral student from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, research suggests that the more a person involved in a serious relationship uses Facebook, the more likely he or she is to end up with a negative relationship outcome such as emotional and physical cheating, breakup or divorce.

The study also suggests that people who excessively use Facebook are more likely to reconnect with old partners, and that monitoring a loved one’s Facebook activity can lead to jealousy. Jealousy induced by Facebook can result in arguments concerning past relationships and can cause a couple to re-examine their current relationship. Not only that, Facebook can also complicate ongoing divorce proceedings.

Facebook as Evidence

In addition to fueling a divorce, Facebook has also become a source of evidence in divorce proceedings. More and more avid Facebookers are experiencing what is known as a “Facebook divorce.” A “Facebook divorce” refers to the dissolution of a marriage due to information that is discovered on Facebook. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 66 percent of evidence gathered from social networking websites is derived from Facebook. Thus, a person going through a divorce should be wary of the statements he or she makes on Facebook and whether they contradict the statements they have made during the divorce proceeding.

For example, a person who claims they do not have any money and is seeking unemployment posts a picture on Facebook of a high-end purchase they recently made. A resourceful divorce attorney will have no issue using that picture and Facebook post as evidence of the individual’s true ability to pay for spousal or child support. Even with privacy settings, discovering a person’s history of Facebook activity and places they have “checked in” are only a mouse click away.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating divorce in the Wheaton area, it is highly advisable to seek the help of a well-known Wheaton divorce attorney. Although there are no specific laws related to Facebook, the admissibility of Facebook as evidence is subject to the Illinois Rules of Evidence. The attorneys at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. are trained professionals and are knowledgeable in the Rules of Evidence. We will evaluate the specific facts of your case to determine whether a piece of evidence should or should not be admitted.