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Lawyers and couples say social media a factor in divorces

Couples in Virginia may be surprised to learn that nearly 15 percent of 2,000 couples in a poll conducted by a British law firm said that they had considered divorce due to the activities of their spouses on social media. In addition, nearly 25 percent said they argued at least weekly with their spouse about social media while almost one out of every five respondents said they fought about it daily.

Another 58 percent reported knowing their partner's passwords whether or not their spouses were aware. Meanwhile, in the United States, attorneys agree that social media plays a part in breaking up relationships.

In 2010, 81 percent of the divorce attorneys who responded to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that they had seen an increase in evidence obtained from social networking used in divorce cases. Two-thirds said they had found evidence using Facebook.

In some cases, a divorce may be somewhat amicable, but others may involve accusations of infidelity using social media for evidence. In either type of divorce, a person who is going through one may wish to work with an attorney. In an amicable situation in which it is possible to negotiate child custody, support and property division without going to court, an attorney might still provide guidance and protect a client's rights. In a contentious divorce that involves litigation, an attorney can be helpful in creating strategies that might increase the chances of getting the desired resolution on these issues. Examining social media might also be helpful if a party is concerned about their spouse concealing assets. For example, a spouse might try to assert that they have no money to pay alimony or child support but post photos of luxury purchases on Facebook that could be used as evidence to refute the claim.

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