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Do online marriages increase the chance of divorce?

In a world where marriage has stood for the cornerstone of the family mould for centuries, it is an interesting consideration to find that although the basis of marriage has remained the same; the ingredients are finding themselves within an ever changing recipe.

According to a recent study of 11,000 people, one in six of those currently in a marriage originally ‘met’ online:

  • 36% met through work or school.
  • 26% met through a friend of family member.
  • 17% through an online dating site.
  • 11% through bars or clubs and other social events.
  • 7% through other activities.
  • 4% through places of worship.

Although times are certainly changing, the world of online dating has yet to leave its history of suspicion and stigma behind. Where once the world of online dating was seen as a last resort for those who had little hope left to find a relationship, we are seeing today a totally different trend.

Despite this however, according the Office for National Statistics, marriages in 2009 were at their lowest ever rate; calculated by the number of marriages per head of the unmarried population.

Perhaps happily in 2010 however, the figure has since risen with 241,10 marriages, up from 231,490.

With the amount of marriages currently taking place (around 68% of them being civil ceremonies) and currently increasing year on year; what role does the internet have once the marriages have taken place?Interestingly in May of this year, Mr Mark Zuckerberg (some fellow over at Facebook), changed his status to ‘married’ and received over one million ‘likes’ from the people following him.

It is interesting to read therefore that over one third of divorce cases in 2011 contained at least in one part, the word ‘Facebook’.

Almost to accompany these figures, over 80% of divorce lawyers in the United States have reported a rising number of cases which use social networking as a cause for divorce.

Although there are reputable divorce lawyers in many areas of Great Britain such as Richard Nelson - divorce lawyers in Nottingham, it is important to first consider the risk of beginning a marriage from a relationship that started on the internet.

One suspected reason for the high risk of internet spawned marriages is that people over social networking tend to become acquainted and relaxed in each other’s virtual company far quicker than they would face-to-face.

Also, the fact that you will more often than not be in contact with more people, possibly ones that you don’t actually know, this means that there is far more risk of extra marital affairs; tempting both for the married and the single.

For those with children involved however, divorce courts have also noted that quite often, Facebook posts are also used to determine child custody battles; making the situation both public and more fragile.

Defenders of Facebook however, state that is not the fault of the social network for the way in which people use its services, but that of the people themselves.

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