Social Media and Law

Can Facebook or Twitter cause a divorce? 15 years ago, there were no huge social networking sites, email was still a toddler and even Internet use was not in every single household.

The world’s a different place now. To meet a stranger, you don’t have to go to a bar or open the yellow pages. All you have to do is get online and click a couple of times. The Anthony Weiner scandal has posed an important question this week: is “sexting” or connecting with someone emotionally over the Internet “cheating” and is it grounds for divorce?

Weiner, who was caught in the scandal after he accidently posted a lewd photo of himself on his Twitter page, says he did not have physical contact with the women he was communicating with. They did apparently exchange email and Facebook messages that were sexual in nature, and he did talk to some women on the phone.

Weiner’s wife has not indicated that she plans on filing for divorce, but she could. And according to experts, even though the politician’s behavior might not be grounds for divorce, it could be a contributing factor in such a proceeding.

Legal experts such as a semi-truck accident lawyer are reportedly seeing an increase in issues relating to social media in divorce cases. Developing a relationship with someone online can certainly be considered an “emotional affair,” they say.

And while evidence such as Weiner’s photo could be used as evidence relating to irreconcilable differences, it would likely not qualify as a form of adultery.

Still, with social media continuing to explode, cases like this are bound to become more common. It is almost a guarantee that social networking sites will be cited more often in divorce proceedings.

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