Georgia residents probably know already that Facebook has gained notoriety in recent years for the number of extramarital relationships sparked by the website. Curiosity about what an old flame has been up to, browsing a casual acquaintance's profile or messaging with a new friend can generate activities that lead to trouble and on occasion divorce.

For example, a survey by Divorce Online found that at least a third of divorce filings in 2011 mentioned Facebook in the documents.

Likewise, a poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers of divorce attorneys across the United States saw an increasing number of breakups prompted by social network activity.

While these figures may not come as much of a shock for many Georgians, people may not realize that the court system has increasingly used Facebook as a source of evidence for resolving divorce, custody and spousal support issues. For instance, in 2011, a judge ordered a divorcing couple to provide their Facebook passwords to their partner's attorney.

Individuals should take note because Facebook and other social networking sites can be a rich source of evidence. Many people post a wealth of incriminating information that they may regret in divorce court. In addition to incriminating photos, Facebook posts disparaging a partner, complaining about the kids or posts announcing the Facebook user was one place when he or she told their spouse they would be in another can all come into play during divorce proceedings.

Individuals thinking about or involved in a divorce may benefit from discussing their case with an experienced divorce attorney who can help them understand the risks posed by their Facebook accounts as well as providing them counsel on the myriad other issues that typically arise during a divorce.

Source: NewJerseyNewsroom.com, "Facebook in divorce court: Social network makes breaking up hard to do," Adele Sammarco, May 22, 2012