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A “Facebook divorce” is not what happens when someone changes their relationship status on the popular social networking site. Instead, this term applies to the many marriages that ended after one partner found incriminating evidence about the other on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. While information found online can end a marriage, it can also be used by attorneys during a divorce. Pennsylvania residents should be aware of how sites like Facebook might influence divorce and custody determinations.

A 2010 survey of matrimonial lawyers revealed that two-thirds of these attorneys use Facebook as their primary source when collecting evidence for possible use in divorce cases. Many seemingly innocuous posts might lead to trouble as a spouse might flirt with others, post about purchases when alleging money troubles or be tagged in compromising photos. Many people also list their whereabouts on Facebook, so an attorney could be able to find out one lied about his or her location, which may matter in child custody matters or when one is accused of infidelity.

When a couple is going through divorce or trying to form an agreement about child custody, using discretion on these types of forums is necessary. Even comments made as a joke could be treated seriously and used as evidence in court. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the things friends or family members post on their pages could be used as evidence too.

The process of dissolving a marriage involves dividing assets and property and figuring out child custody matters when a couple has children, and finalizing a divorce can be lengthy and complicated. There are also issues many people do not even consider like the consequences of posting certain information online, so one may wish to consult an attorney when going through a divorce.

Source: FindLaw, “Facebook Divorce”, accessed on Feb. 25, 2015