Ten years ago it was probably unheard of for a divorce petition to refer to one spouse finding out about the others infidelity on a social networking site. However, when you consider that Facebook has 36 million UK users, some might say it’s hardly surprising that some married people will be using it to contact an old flame.
The perceived safety of sitting at a computer screen to contact someone you would otherwise have left well alone is leading to many petitions for divorce being filed with County Courts. Facebook and other social networking sites are not only being referred to more frequently in divorce petitions, but people’s postings on such sites are often being printed off and referred to the Court in cases concerning children. A client may do their best to portray themselves as a reasonable and responsible adult, yet they go on to post abusive or threatening messages to their ex partner through social media.
Many divorce cases revolve around social media users who get back in touch with old flames they haven’t heard from in many years. Indeed, the most common reasons where Facebook was cited as evidence always related to spouses behaviour with the opposite sex. However, this included using Facebook to make comments about their exes once they had separated, as well as using their walls as weapons in their divorce battles. Some of the most common reasons include:
• Inappropriate messages/photographs to members of the opposite sex.
• Separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other.
• Facebook friends reporting spouse’s behavior.
"Once you put something in writing online it will be there forever. Even if a post is deleted data retrieval is such these days that records can often be found. For those on the receiving end, if you come across something that you think is relevant to your case, then print it off or save it somewhere safe."
Facebook may not call itself a dating website but hundreds of millions use it to connect on varying levels. Intimate conversations, even online ones, should only be reserved for a significant other.
Sali Jackson-Thomas is a Partner and Solicitor at JCP Solicitors based in South Wales. For more information on this or any other area of Family Law please contact Sali on
For more information please visit www.jcp-family-law.co.uk