Facebook a major reason for divorce says family law expert

Facebook is a major cause of marriage break splits and needs to be treated with care to avoid the divorce courts, claims one of the region’s leading family law specialists.

Kathryn Hicklin, of QS Mander Cruickshank said recent research from America, together with other reports on social media trends in divorce demonstrated just how dangerous Facebook, Twitter and other forums had become.

“It used to be said that lipstick on the collar was a tell-tale sign of an affair, but Facebook, and other social media seem to be the sign now,” said Ms Hicklin.

She spoke out after a study from Boston University found a link between social media use and decreased marriage quality.

It showed that a 20 per cent increase in Facebook enrolment was associated with a four per cent increase in divorce rates.
“This study believes it may be that social media’s addictive qualities create marital strife, and promote an environment for infidelity,” she said.

Ms Hicklin, whose firm have offices in Coalville and Hinckley said she had noticed recently many more mentions of social media evidence in her divorce work.

“In studies in the States around 80 per cent of lawyers have said social media is cited in divorce cases and this seems to be a statistic similar to what we are seeing UK,” she said.

“It can sometimes be people contacting old boyfriends or girlfriends or flirtatious behaviour with strangers which goes onto affairs.
“It is clear Social Media is a volatile environment for couples if used in this way and from the problems I have seen it cause, it appears that people need to be made aware of the perils,” she added.

According to the Office for National Statistics around 42 per cent of marriages in the UK now end in divorce, with figures lower than in the past decades, but this is believed by statisticians to be due to less people marrying than in the past.

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