Here's the perfect Valentine's Day story: If you're separated from or in the process of divorcing your spouse, steer clear of Facebook. According to a recent survey of U.S. divorce attorneys, Facebook is the "unrivaled leader" for online evidence of matrimonial naughtiness.
The survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) shows that 81 percent of the Academy's members in the past five years have seen an increase in the number of divorce cases using social networking evidence.
Among the most popular social nets, Facebook has the dubious honor of being the leader for online divorce dirt, with 66 percent of survey respondents citing it as the primary source.
MySpace was second with 14 percent, Twitter third at 5 percent. Other online sources totaled 14 percent, according to an AAML release.
You're Being Watched
Many social networkers forget that their online behavior is easy enough to track.
"As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations," said Marlene Eskind Moses, president of the AAML, in a statement.
"Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny," Moses added. An estranged spouse will likely be one of the first people to spot online activities that indicate, say, an extramarital affair.
The AAML survey lends credence to earlier reports that spotlight Facebook as a hotbed of marital unrest. One report released in December says the site is cited in one of every five divorce petitions.
There's even a site devoted to the phenomenon: Facebook Cheating.
If you visit, please be discreet. You never know who's watching.