The increasing role of social media in divorce - Marcia Mediation

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Social networks are putting the ‘media’ in divorce mediation in new ways every day, with a growing number of marriages hitting the rocks due to jealousy and online infidelity.

But not all cases even involve cheating – in one news story from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, a newly married husband filed for divorce when he found out his wife had breached a prenuptial agreement by sharing photos of their wedding ceremony on Snapchat.

Although it may sound like a petty reason to dissolve a newly formed marriage, it’s worth noting that the bride had signed the prenup, so she was well aware of the risks when she logged on to send the snaps.

Of course there is also the threat of starting an online affair, and many social networks provide the opportunity to meet strangers, talk both publicly and privately with them, and move on to sending images and even video.

The temptation for some people is to view the digital world as ‘virtual’, and there can be big differences between how seriously the partners in a marriage perceive their online activity.

When this ultimately leads to the breakdown of a marriage, divorce mediation can help to reconcile these differences of opinion in order to allow progress to be made – not to save the marriage, but at least to complete divorce proceedings more quickly and amicably.

A divorce mediator can help both parties to put across their views without the situation becoming overly heated, so that you can meet in the middle – which in one sense is what ‘mediation’ is all about.

Where one party feels they have been blamed too harshly for a ‘minor’ online indiscretion, while the other is as hurt as they would be by a real-world physical affair, closing the gap between these viewpoints can be crucial to moving things forward and resolving the divorce in a sensible timescale, and without unnecessary cost or stress.