Social media: causing problems for couples

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New research, commissioned by firm Slater and Gordon, has shown that social media is causing rifts between couples, and is often cited as a reason in divorce cases.

Andrew Newbury, head of family law at Slater and Gordon said:

“Five years ago Facebook was rarely mentioned in the context of a marriage ending, but now it has become common place for clients to cite social media use, or something they discovered on social media, as a reason for divorce.”

The study focused on married couples and their activities on social media sites such as Facebook, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter and Whatsapp. Examples of problematic activities include contact with an ex-partner, sending secret messages, posting inappropriate photographs, and even failing to post any photographs of the couple themselves.

The results show that social media is often problematic in modern relationships.

  • Just under half of all adults in the UK admit secretly checking their partner’s Facebook account, and one in five went on to argue about what they discovered.
  • One in seven admitted contemplating divorce following a partner’s social media habits.
  • Nearly a quarter of the persons asked said that social media sparked at least one argument a week, and 17% said that social media caused a row daily.
  • 14% of participants said that they had used social media to find evidence of infidelity.
  • 15% of those asked considered social media to be a danger to their relationship, with Facebook being cited as the most dangerous of all the social media sites.
  • One in ten admitted hiding posts and images from their partners.
  • 8% admitted to having secret social media accounts.
  • A fifth of participants said that they had discovered something on their partner’s social media which made them uneasy, and 43% had confronted their spouse about this immediately.
  • A third of participants kept their social media log-in details a secret from their partners, however 58% said that they knew their partner’s log-in details, even if their partner wasn’t aware of this.

Andrew Newbury has said that following these startling results:

“We are now actively advising our clients to be cautious when it comes to using Facebook and all forms of social media because of its potential to damage relationships.”

If you are find yourself facing problems with a spouse and wish to know more about the options that are available to you, contact one of our solicitors and arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

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