Social media is a marriage minefield


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Recent research shows that social media adds emotional distress and anxiety to marriage breakdown.

One of the UK’s largest law firms has commissioned research into the number of cases where social media has played a part in couple’s separating and divorcing. The firm’s family department, like many others across the country, has seen an increase in the number of clients citing social media use as a cause of divorce.

The research found that just under half of all adults in the UK admitted to secretly checking their partner’s Facebook account and one in five went on to argue about what they discovered. 1 in 7 said they had contemplated divorce because of their partner’s activities on Facebook, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter or What’sApp.

Nearly 25% of the 2,000 married persons asked said they had at least one argument a week with their partner because of social media use, and 17 % said they rowed every day because of it.

The most common reasons for checking their partner’s social media accounts were to find out with whom their partner was talking, to keep tabs on them, to check who they were out with and to find out if they were telling the truth about their social life. 14% said they looked specifically to identify evidence of infidelity.

15% of people asked considered social media to be dangerous to their marriage, with Facebook considered the most dangerous, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. A fifth of respondents said they felt uneasy about their relationship after discovering something on their partner’s Facebook. 43 % said they confronted their spouse immediately about this, but 40% said it took them some time before they felt comfortable to raise it with their partner.

This research shows that social media is adding even more emotional distress and anxiety to an already difficult situation. Divorce is not easy for anyone involved in such proceedings, and social media can make a speedy resolution more difficult to achieve.

The lesson to be learned is that anyone who regularly uses social media sites should think very carefully before posting anything on their profile page.

If you need advice, our friendly and experienced solicitors are on hand to help. Call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk

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