Facebook blamed for rise in divorces

For many, they're a harmless way to stay in touch, but social networking sites are also being blamed for one in five divorces.

So you thought staying in touch with friends through Facebook was a bit of harmless fun. Well, it seems you were wrong. Social networking sites are bad for your marriage and have been blamed for one in five divorces, according to new research.

The study of 5,436 cases, carried out by one firm of lawyers, revealed that 20 percent of all petitions contained references to Facebook cited as a factor, with the most common reason being inappropriate sexual chats with the wrong people.

Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online says: ‘I heard from my staff there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was.’

With 77 per cent of UK homes now having access to some form of internet and around 14 million using social networking sites, is it so surprising? Critics believe the web is a breeding ground for affairs, whilst suspicious spouses can equally go online to find evidence of unreasonable behaviour.

Karen Moores, at Sydney Mitchell Solicitors, says: ‘It started off with Friends Reunited where people were hooking up with exes from their school days, arranging to meet up and then starting affairs.

‘Now it’s Facebook, with people discovering their partners emailing or pictured with other people, or on websites that they really shouldn’t. If I was up to anything I would never do it anywhere near the internet.’

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