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Facebook implications in separations continue to rise

We have to admit that when it comes to Facebook you either love it or you hate it! Since the social media giant was launched in 2004 it has been linked with a constant stream of stories of people getting themselves into troubled water. Earlier this year reports emerged that couples were citing Facebook as a major cause of break-ups.

Counsellors at the charity Relationships Ireland said there has been a significant surge in the number of couples blaming popular social media sites such as Facebook for the demise of their relationship. According to the charity, as many as 80% of the marriages it has been working on saving have crumbled partly because of partners devoting so much time to Facebook and other social media sites.

Facebook driving up divorce rates

Though this isn't the first time Facebook has been implicated in causing relationships to break down. In 2011, US lawyers announced that Facebook is becoming a primary source of evidence in divorce proceedings and custody battles.

A 2010 survey compiled by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) revealed that four out of five lawyers reported a growing number of divorce cases cited evidence from social media sites, with Facebook being the primary culprit.

Celebrities are also being caught up in the pressures social media can put on marriages. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are the latest celebrity couple have their divorce and Facebook associated.

Mariah Carey's divorce gets messy on Facebook

Mariah and Nick's six-year marriage has been on the rocks for some time. Whist everyone wants to know what went wrong with the once happy marriage, reports claim that Nick Cannon is not allowed to divulge anything about the pending divorce due to a gag order. Mr Cannon did however confirm in a recent interview with The Insider that the split was not caused by infidelity.

Whilst the couple might not be able to expose any information about the divorce, it did not stop Nick Cannon's father making some suggestive comments on Facebook. Mr Cannon senior might have refrained from posting names directly, but remarks about women putting on weight, not having any more children other than two and telling lies to their husband caused Mariah Carey fans to jump to the star's defence.

Facebook might not have been directly responsible for the breakdown of Carey and Cannon's marriage but it is certainly causing things to get 'messier' as the divorce proceedings go through.

Facebook and marital conflict

A growing body of research does however link the rising use of Facebook to marital conflict. The latest study devoted to social media and divorce was published in a recent issue of the journal 'Computers in Human Behaviour'. The paper says that increased use of Facebook is "positively correlated” with rising divorce rates.

The study concluded:

"Although it may seem surprising that a Facebook profile, a relatively small factor compared to other drivers of human behaviour, could have a significant statistical relationship with divorce rates and marital satisfaction, it nonetheless seems to be the case".

What are your thoughts on Facebook contributing to the demise of relationships? Perhaps you are at the end of your tether with your partner spending more time updating social profiles than with you. Or do you think the notion of social networking playing a part in divorces is ludicrous? We'd love to know your thoughts on this topical issue.

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of divorce and would like some advice, get in touch with Tracey Miller Family Law, experts in family law who specialise in divorce.