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Impact of social media on divorce underscores need for prenups

Perhaps nothing has changed our culture more in the past decade than the advent of social media. Online dating has changed the way we meet our mates and, perhaps inevitably, popular sites like Facebook are now changing the way we divorce as well. From prenuptial agreements to property division, social media has opened another avenue for documenting a person's activities.

Social media leave behind an online record of one's communications. This record often comes into play during a marital breakup with the potential to impact property division and other outcomes.

According to a 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, four-fifths of responding lawyers indicated the use of Facebook records in their divorce cases. From emails to instant messages to wall postings, all of which can become useful printouts, Facebook offers plenty of opportunities for spouses to inadvertently document their behavior.

Any doubt about how important social media has become in divorce cases is refuted by a recent case portraying just how large a role it can play. Last November, a man posted inflammatory messages about his wife on his Facebook page. A judge then ordered him to post an apology on his page, as well as on his friends' pages.

Another more common use of Facebook in divorces involves adultery. When online chats become real-life affairs, the result is potential embarrassment, divorce or both.

Given the power of social media to record marital actions, spouses in Texas who frequently use social media may also want to consider using prenuptial agreements. Once considered useful for only the wealthy, prenups are now a common tool for anyone desiring to protect themselves in a world where temptation is just a keystroke away.

Source: KENS5.com, "Happily ever after less likely for married couples using Facebook," Katherine Whaley, Feb. 17, 2012

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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