Print 36 comment(s) - last by Lazarus Dark.. on Feb 15 at 7:31 PM

Till death (or Facebook) do us part...

Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are great tools when used to stay connected with friends and family. But now, Raleigh, NC attorneys are saying that almost every divorce case they work with involves a spouse's misuse of these sites.  

Lee Rosen, an attorney with Rosen Law Firm in Raleigh, and Alice Stubbs, an attorney with Tharrington Smith LLP in Raleigh, have agreed that a majority of the divorce cases they handle are related to problems with a spouse's behavior on social networking sites.

"It's been really an interesting phenomenon," said Stubbs. "In the last five years, Facebook, MySpace - all the social networking sites have changed the face of domestic law, and we obtain a lot of evidence from social networking." 

One particular problem the attorney's point out is cheating. Users not only flock to sites like Facebook to stay connected with people close to them, but also have the ability to search for old classmates, best friends from long ago, and of course, lost loves. 

A specific instance shared on was the story of a man named "Scott," who chose to remain anonymous in the article. His wife, whom he was married to for 13 years, had cheated on him with a man she met on MySpace. 

"This was a former fiancé, an old flame," said Scott. "They hooked up online, found each other, started communicating, and that relationship started to grow a little bit."

According to Rosen and Stubbs, this type of story is one they hear often in divorce cases. Stubbs has even seen situations where people have left their job, children or the state they live in to be with someone they met on the internet. In most divorce cases, social networking sites are involved in one way or another, such as one or both spouses using the networking tools to find incriminating evidence on the other. 

"All sorts of things go on Facebook," said Rosen. "There's real cheating. There are things that sound like cheating and then there are all sorts of other things like threats, comments that shouldn't have been made. It is a communication device that now has every kind of communication, positive and negative." 

So how do you stop Facebook from destroying your marriage? Rosen, Stubbs and Scott have a few points of advice. They suggest sharing your username and password with your spouse so that “everybody knows exactly what's going on."

While sharing a username and password is fine, Rosen notes that breaking into a spouse's social networking account is illegal. Scott agrees that sharing such information with one another is the way to keep a long-lasting marriage.  

"I'm not advocating that anyone become a snoop, but if that's what you feel you have to do in a marriage relationship, there should be no expectation that everything you do is private, because you have a sacred obligation to your spouse," said Scott. 

Stubbs' advice is to just delete the entire account while going through a divorce to avoid the temptation of posting something that your spouse may be able to use against you.

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One idea
By zmatt on 2/11/2011 9:20:34 AM , Rating: 3
that I have seen used successfully is that couples will delete their old accounts and make one account for the both of them.

RE: One idea
By Brandon Hill on 2/11/2011 9:21:56 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I've noticed this as well. Always seems kind of weird when you're just trying to talk to one of them and not the other, but it works for them...

RE: One idea
By vol7ron on 2/11/2011 1:34:19 PM , Rating: 3
Social Networking, a place for temptation to destroy relationships. Facebook might make it easier for people to cheat, but it's also made it easier to catch a cheater.

Can you just imagine what would happen if the show Mad Men had Facebook?

RE: One idea
By fake01 on 2/14/2011 12:04:52 AM , Rating: 2
I rarely use Facebook and when I do it's always my GF's account I'm logged into. So I de-activated my account as I never used it.

Now I just share my GF's account. Although I rarely use it still, from time to time I may chat to someone (using Digsby) or read comments (on my Galaxy S) or from time to time check her status on the PC. Sometimes I even change her status to something weird and funny and everyone thinks it's her :D.

RE: One idea
By jeepga on 2/11/2011 9:40:42 AM , Rating: 5
A family sign-in feature would be really nice. You'd have one shared account and you'd have a secondary sign-in to identify who is really connecting. That person would then show online as normal with their own wall. The members of the family account would be in different tiers -- e.g. parents and children. Every member of the family would see the private and chat messages of the others if configured in such a way.

RE: One idea
By Obujuwami on 2/11/2011 10:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
You better copyright that idea and then sell it to Facebook, you will make a mint!

RE: One idea
By Mitch101 on 2/11/2011 12:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
An identity thief's and kidnappers dream.

People really need a closed system not one that opens the doors on all your personal info for everyone to see and makes it difficult in telling you how to make yourself and information private. Sadly you have to protect people from themselves.

RE: One idea
By mikeyD95125 on 2/11/2011 10:11:33 PM , Rating: 4
If you are using Facebook then you should have no expectation of privacy on it. They are in the business of selling personal information.

RE: One idea
By callmeroy on 2/11/2011 9:44:25 AM , Rating: 5
I have to admit I find humor in these kind of stories...because I just think its so ridiculous that people are so carefree on the very systems where the purpose is to communicate what you post to the masses on the Internet.

I mean you can read countless stories online about using privacy tools , protecting your identity, about using your damn brain and exercising some common sense?

Know what you post online-- is a record...that won't go away, understand that most vital rule and guide your actions around that rule...and you'll be fine.

RE: One idea
By Urbanmech on 2/11/2011 10:04:00 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think the article is just about posting the wrong things online, but the ability to communicate with anyone, from anytime in your life. I started talking to an old girlfriend through Facebook, led to some good times :) (I was single at the time though)

RE: One idea
By StraightCashHomey on 2/11/2011 1:17:56 PM , Rating: 1
Heh, yep, I've hooked up with a couple ladies from high school that I always regretted never getting a piece of. Facebook made it a 30-second search, and the first one actually sought me out instead.

RE: One idea
By UsernameX on 2/11/2011 10:01:03 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't surprise me one bit!

RE: One idea
By Hiawa23 on 2/11/2011 2:41:38 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, what happened to personal responsibility? I thought I saw somewhere someone tried to say porn was also a big reason for divorce. All this says to me, with the internet the way it is now & you can reach out to people that wasn't possible in previous generations, you have more options, but it's up to you to make good decisions for you & your family.

RE: One idea
By Gio6518 on 2/12/2011 10:30:07 AM , Rating: 2
Thank You...

It's not facebooks or my spaces' fault...

It's the persons fault for committing the infidelity in the first place, then being stupid enough to flaunt these actions on a public site...

It's not like Facebook held a gun to someones head and forced them to cheat on their spouce...

RE: One idea
By Myg on 2/12/2011 7:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Pornography *is* a huge reason for divorce, but more in the fact that it destroys, mainly, the male's ability to fully interact sexually and intimately with their wife and can occur before or during a marriage.

Most likely it will take longer if it happens during the marriage, because their "language" with each-other while making love is already laid down on ground that has not been disturbed by it yet. Also, depending on how dependent and engrossed the male gets into pornography will depend on the rate at which it breaks down the essential communication between husband and wife. If you have a very tolerant wife with lower standards (is used to being used sexually/etc from their early years) they will probably tolerate a lot, but theres a limit to it and there will be a sudden *disconnect* between husband and wife eventually and find its way out through some other crack in the relationship. This can also occur with those "romance novels" (don't know the proper term) for women and their expectations of life with their husband.

This means if you grew up looking at pornography, it could of ruined your chances for a proper marriage *before* you even got married; without you knowing or realizing (also mainly not being warned). Thats the danger of it, it works its way into your life without you realizing what its doing, usually till its too late.

Facebook, while interesting in the fact that it provides a means of outlet for relational stress in such an easy and convienent, way is definetly a breeding ground for those with loose-words and inability to properly commit to their chosen path in life.

Its hard to blame people too much, since they have been brought up and pushed with the ideal of promiscuity as a means of "freedom", so it goes to say that such cultural (yet ironically and grossly untrue) trends are surely just rearing their ugly head up where it finds a means.

But who really knows? There are soo many and too many reasons for these issues, that not a single one can be blamed for the entirety; but it still doesn't detract from the fact that these facets in society are growing at a rate which is *not* sustainable for a social coherency and goes against the founding principles of western society (especially the USA) as a whole.

Other societies have found other ways of quickly dealing with such issues, like stoning, execution, exiling people from social structures. Meanwhile we in the west have prided ourself on making forgiveness a central tenant of our inner workings which also means we need to be more vigilant. Fear of death and exile is a much greater deterrent then a reasoned and logical arguement to the, "masses" who crave and drool for quick and emotional explanations to the workings of life and seem to have no time to allow the deeper connections to settle amongst the masses of information they are digesting.

Critical thinking is a main pillar of personal responsibility, and its found to be suddenly lacking as of late, I wonder why?

RE: One idea
By StuckMojo on 2/13/2011 12:54:28 PM , Rating: 2

RE: One idea
By Lazarus Dark on 2/15/2011 7:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
For Facebook, isn't this against facebook policy? aren't you supposed to use real identities only? and I'm pretty sure sharing an account would then violate policy and get your account locked.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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