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New report shows proliferation of Facebook in divorce filings

Facebook has its proponents and opponents, but what is undeniable about the social networking site is that it allows people to connect who never would have dreamed of connecting some 20 years ago. It makes a wealth of personal information available to your friends, your family -- and sometimes the public.

Given its widespread use, Facebook has become one of the central hubs of the internet. It's a place where people can share ideas; instant message with each other; tag photos; and share opinions (for better or worse). However, Facebook has also become instrumental in an area it likely never even dreamed of impacting: divorce.

According to a recent report, "Facebook" was referenced or mentioned in 33 percent of divorce filings in 2011. That's a huge jump from 2008, when the term was referenced or mentioned in 20 percent of filings.

So what does this mean? Why is Facebook such a key component to divorce nowadays?

As a website that holds (and in many cases divulges) so much personal information, Facebook can be an important source for divorcing spouses to dig up dirt on their soon-to-be-ex. Incriminating photos or messages can establish an extra-marital affair.

Another way that Facebook can impact divorce is with child custody. It may seem like a stretch, but consider this scenario: a couple gets divorced, and one of the spouses is very unhappy. That spouse goes on to Facebook and posts an inflammatory status that insults and disparages his or her husband or wife.

Posts like that could help substantiate someone's claim that their ex is unfit to be a parent, or that the ex should receive less time with their child.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "'Facebook' named in a third of divorce filings," George Mathis, Feb. 11, 2014

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