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Status update: Facebook breaking up a third of UK marriages

December 30, 2011 | 11:21 am

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This post has been corrected. See note below for details.

So much for marital bliss. In Great Britain it's all about the Facebook dis.

Apparently, there's no such thing as a no-fault divorce across the pond. Facebook is taking the blame for breaking up a third of marriages in which "unreasonable behavior" was a factor.

The popular social networking site is getting an unfriendly rap because it's a major way that spouses uncover incriminating messages and photos.

According to Divorce-Online, a third of 5,000 petitions in the past year mentioned Facebook. More than 30 million people in the UK -- about half the population -- log into Facebook each month.

"People contact ex-partners and the messages start as innocent, but lead to trouble," divorce lawyer Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online, told the Daily Mail. "If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex then it's the easiest place to do it."

The law firm said it has noted a 50% jump in the number of petitions that cite Facebook over the last two years.

Facebook is also becoming less and less social as warring exes use it as a "War of the Roses" battleground to air their differences from picking up the kids to paying child support. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner would be proud.

This is not a big surprise in the United States where Facebook is the new "lipstick on the collar" and infidelity uncovered in the form of "Facebook bombs" has been known to torpedo relationships. One dating coach speculates that Facebook is "the source of all future infidelity." There is even a website dedicated to "Facebook cheating."

[For the record, 4:30 p.m., Dec. 30, 2011: An earlier version of this post said that Facebook was a factor in one-third of U.K. divorces; it should have said that Facebook was cited in one-third of U.K. divorces in which "unreasonable behavior" was a factor.]

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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

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