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Facebook and social media provide evidence in divorce cases

The personal information about whereabouts, relationships and activities shared on social media plays an increasing role in marital disputes and divorce cases, according to two polls. Some couples in Texas may well be aware of how arguments arise when an old lover's friend request is accepted or evidence of an affair pops up on Facebook because one survey found these disputes to be pervasive.

Conducted by the law firm Slater and Gordon, the survey asked 2,000 married couples in Great Britain if social media was a source of friction in the relationship. Nearly 25 percent of couples reported that social media use caused an argument every week. Fights occurred every day for 17 percent of couples. One in seven of them admitted thinking about divorce because of a spouse's suspicious activity on social media. Poll responses also revealed that 58 percent of the people knew their partner's password.

When the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers polled divorce attorneys in the United States, 81 percent of them indicated that evidence collected on social media increasingly contributed to divorce cases. Attorneys cited Facebook as their best source of online information pertinent to divorce cases.

For a person dealing with a divorce, social media could prove a fertile ground for collecting evidence to support a position in a contested divorce. An attorney might be able to advise a person on what type of activity to look for online to support a negotiating position. Making a case for a post-divorce modification might also be supported by collecting pertinent social media evidence. Additionally, an attorney could inform the person about divorce issues such as property division, spousal support and visitation schedules.

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