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Philip Barnsley  

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Privacy clauses can prevent social network heartache

 

Article date:  21/12/2010

Couples preparing pre nuptial and cohabitation agreements should consider including a privacy clause to prevent separation announcements being published on social networking sites, according to a leading regional law firm.

Higgs & Sons, based on the Waterfront in Brierley Hill, issued the call after cricketer Shane Warne and actress Liz Hurley were caught exchanging flirtatious messages on Twitter - which then led to both celebrities announcing the end of their respective marriages on the same site.

But the leading law firm is reporting that social networking disputes are becoming a common occurrence amongst the general public. 

Philip Barnsley, head of Higgs & Sons' family department said: "We are currently dealing with a number of clients who are complaining about their former spouses using social networking sites to criticise them - and in some cases their new partners."

The main point of concern with social network disputes is how easy it is for children to view damaging information about their parents' marriage.

Philip added: "Sometimes information that is published online can be viewed by young children and cause a lot of distress. It's obviously not in the best interests of a child to become involved in the breakdown of a marriage.

"So as we see more and more pre nuptial and cohabitation agreements, there is nothing to stop clients inserting a privacy clause to prevent their partners or spouses from publishing sensitive information like this on social networking sites."

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