Facebook and other social media sites have been blamed for as much as one fifth of the divorces that have taken place in the past few years.
With the explosion of such websites, tens of thousands of adults have reconnected with people from their past. Long lost loves and high school crushes were finding each other again. Others were meeting new people on social media sites and the wider their social networks, experts say, the greater the temptation to cheat.
According to Divorce Online's Managing Director, Mark Keenan, 20 percent of all the petitions his company filed contained references to Facebook as the impetus for the marital dissolution.
Because there is an element of anonymity on-line, people do become bolder: people say and do things they wouldn't if they were face to face with another person. It would make sense, then, that flirtation and sexual advances would occur in greater numbers than if everyone met down at the community center for a mixer.
Being bold on-line is also what has gotten many a spouse in trouble in divorce court! The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a prestigious group of the country's top family law attorneys, conducted a survey amongst its members.
These lawyers reported that 81% have seen an increase in the use of comments their spouse has made on social networking sites as evidence in divorce cases in the past five years. Of those, 66 percent cite Facebook as the source of the material - a huge leap above MySpace (15 percent), Twitter (5 percent) and all the other social media sites (14 percent).
While all 50 states are now considered, No-Fault Divorce states (New York being the last to join the ranks in July 2010), there are several states which still find "fault" with one spouse. In these states, adultery is often among the handful of reasons a judge might give one spouse less in the division of assets.
Anyone having an affair, even if it's just an emotional affair or an Internet affair, and blabbing about it in cyberspace--is liable to be found at fault and have their settlement be adversely affected if the evidence is found and used by the spouse being betrayed.
Custody disputes may be adversely impacted as well. Cases such as the one where a man who listed himself on Match.com as single with no children was busted in divorce proceedings. Needless to say, he did not win sole custody of the children after the judge saw that!