Facebook and other social media sites are now used in a third of divorce cases according to new research from family law firm Lake Legal. Flirty messages and photographs found on Facebook are increasingly being used as proof of inappropriate behaviour.
Specialists at the firm examined over 200 cases and found that Facebook and social media sites were used by lawyers in just over a third of divorce cases. The social media platform provided evidence of infidelity, new relationships, helped track people’s movements and recorded expenditure on everything from cars to holidays.
Many cases revolve around social media users who get back in touch with old flames they hadn’t heard from in many years. Facebook was by far the biggest offender with twitter playing an increasing role.
Commenting on the trend, Lyn Ayrton, managing partner at Lake Legal said: “Social media provides an on-going log of our lives. The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.
“Often, if a partner refers to an impending bonus, a new job offer, or plans for a holiday, it may provide evidence that they are not telling the truth about their financial position. At the very least, it could call their credibility into question.”
Recent reports from Italy estimated that WhatsApp, the instant messaging service acquired by Facebook this year for $19 billion, is cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings — more than any other source of information.