THE FACE(BOOK) OF FAMILY LAW TODAY
New research published by the Divorce Online Blog, highlights the huge significance that social media now has to Family Law in the UK. The study found that 1 in 3 divorce orders list Facebook as a contributing factor, with frisky e-mails via the site being one of the most commonly cited examples of unreasonable behaviour.
Office romances and affairs that once took months to progress are now instant through the likes of social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, contributing to a growing population of “virtual friends”, providing an open forum for suspicious behaviour.
This was the first research of its kind to be conducted by Russell Clayton of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, who carried out the initial surveys has now through the publicity generated, acquired further investment to continue this investigation.
Russell who is a doctoral student at the university, advises couples to “limit Facebook usage in order to achieve a healthy, lasting relationship”.
Social networking sites are playing an increasingly important role in the challenging issue surrounding disclosure and privacy in family cases. Traditionally, clients can present documents that they have “found” showing that full disclosure has not been made by their spouse. Now though, they are increasingly presenting social evidence including photographs, wall posts or other information posted on the sites. In this scenario, difficult questions surrounding privacy and the law of confidence arise.
At Vines Legal, it’s our role to fully advise our clients on the wide-reaching implications that their actions on social networking sites may have in future family proceedings.
If you would like to discuss your case, contact the friendly team on 01246 555 610.
By Claire Clark on 19 Jun 2013, 11:52 AM