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Facebook could cause divorce, researchers say

Individuals who think that “liking” a photo of a dog posted by their old college roommate may not have any real significance may want to think again. According to a new study, a popular aspect of the Internet could have a significant effect on divorce rates. While Oregon couples might divorce for a myriad of different reasons, Facebook could actually be part of the cause.

A previous study conducted in 2011 revealed that people who use social media websites are twice as likely to have seriously considered leaving a spouse than individuals who do not. While it’s not clear whether there is an exact causation between social networking and divorce, researchers state that there is a definite correlation between the two. Questions surrounding the reasons behind the correlation have also produced multiple theories that could be plausible.

One such theory suggests that Facebook allows greater and easier access to former relationships. Additionally, with relative ease and privacy of messages between users, it may be easier than ever to start and continue an affair. However, Facebook has denied that it could possibly be causing divorces.

The question of whether Facebook actually causes divorces, or if the stress of a divorce drives an individual to use Facebook, is still unanswered. Whatever the reason for an Oregon couple’s divorce, it may be possible for both parties to come to an agreement concerning important aspects of the settlement -- such as division of assets or even child custody -- by themselves. In instances when this is not possible, an impartial, third-party mediator may help find a resolution to disputes concerning the divorce settlement.

Source: wtop.com, "Study: Facebook affects divorce rates, marital satisfaction", Neal Augenstein, July 16, 2014

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