Divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen Facebook at the center of hundreds of divorces over the years. In fact, 20 percent of divorces in the United States and about 33 percent in the United Kingdom involve the social network. Now, Facebook might once again be at the center of a wave of divorces - and this time it has noting to do with old high school girlfriends and flirty wall messages and everything to do with money.
According to the Washington Post, when Facebook went public on May 18 it created 850 millionaires -600 of whom are Facebook employees. Family lawyers like Steve Cone of Palo Alto, California believe sudden IPO wealth can lead to dozens of divorces. Cone says Silicon Valley was filled with newly-divorced tech millionaires after Google and Cisco both went public.
"When Google went public, there was a wave of divorces. When Cisco went public, there was a wave of divorces," Cone told the Financial Times. "I expect a similar wave shortly after Facebook goes public."
Likewise, Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Gary Becker told the Times that couples "who make more money than they ever expected are vulnerable to divorce (because) they realize that they are less financially dependent on each other and that they might have chosen different spouses if they had more choices at the time."
Others say Facebook's IPO caused a sudden change in couples' lives and that these changes, moreso than the money, could lead them to divorce.
But it isn't all bad news. Silicon Valley wedding planners say they usually see an increase in business from newly rich couples ready to splurge on a dream wedding and settle down. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a perfect example of this. He and longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan tied the knot just days after Facebook began trading on NASDAQ.