CLEVELAND - Despite a survey out of the U.K. that says more than a third of divorce filings in 2011 contained the word Facebook, one local attorney says there's no way to quantify the claim.
Gary Rosen has been a practicing divorce attorney for more than 33 years in Akron. While Rosen doesn't think there's any scientific evidence to the U.K. legal services firm Divorce Online survey, he admits there is a trend he's seen in recent years.
"Have social networks and the Internet played an important role in the deterioration of marriages? Yes."
Rosen said in Ohio, there's no such thing as mentioning the cause of divorce. Ohio uses incompatibility as grounds for a divorce.
"It's highly unlikely you'll put social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, in a court document. People cite grounds of adultery, but rarely does anyone mention social media in a court document," Rosen explained.
Computer history, texts and emails can be used as a tracking tool when a couple is going through a divorce. It's evidence that can be very revealing.
"People don't often think that information can be tracked, but it's become far more frequent to use someone's records on Facebook or other social networking sites. Sometimes you have to subpoena them, but they can be a real treasure trove on relationships and money."
Thirty years ago, people used to leave the house if they wanted to meet somebody, Rosen said. Now, they can do it at the hands of a computer, at home, at work, late at night, even when a spouse is sleeping.
"Today's technology is making it easier for people who want to cheat, to cheat," Rosen said. "It has increased social interaction. When you increase social interaction, you increase the likelihood of someone looking for another relationship to find it."
Studies have showed that while the overall divorce rate has held steady or declined since the 1980s, one age group is seeing an increase.
The National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found at least one in four baby boomers (those over age 50) get divorced, a number that's expected to increase.
Bottom line, don't say "I do" -- a forever commitment -- if you don't.
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