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.
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
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
specific instance shared on WRAL.com 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.
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."
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
quote: At any rate I think the "find an old flame" thing is a bit overplayed in the stories I hear regarding this.
quote: The ease of looking up old flames IS kind of unique to social sites.