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Social networking sites, divorce and paternity

Residents of St. Charles, Missouri, may be interested to know about the recent reports that social networking sites may contribute to problems in a marriage. Based on studies in 2011, one-third of divorces were caused or influenced by social media, most commonly by Facebook.

Some couples open accounts on Facebook while still married, believing that it would strengthen the trust of both parties and keep their marriage strong. Some couples keep separate accounts, even after getting married, because they believe that they have different interests and friends in life and that they should respect each other's privacy. Connecting through Facebook often connects people who had relationships in the past.

However, a husband or wife may be uncomfortable and insecure with a particular interaction of their spouse's. According to one columnist, it is that insecurity and lack of trust - not social media - that may lead to divorce.

Still, social media is not going away - and with more and more people accessing the internet and joining services such as Facebook and Twitter each day, the problems highlighted by the studies in 2011 are unlikely to go away soon. Whether the main factor or simply part of the broken marriage puzzle, social media will likely continue to be cited in many divorces moving forward.

Whatever the cause, once the parties decide to divorce, it will be important to work towards a resolution that can provide a fresh start. Particularly when former spouses have extensive and complex assets, it can be helpful to work with an experienced attorney to sort through the many issues that may arise. Ensuring that asset division accounts for important items such as pensions, retirement plans and business assets can ensure that divorcees are on the proper footing when they are finally ready to change their status from "married" to "single."

Source: UVU Review, "Facebook and marital happiness," Faith Heaton Jolley, Sept. 24, 2012

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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