The recent Ashley Madison hack revealing the names of some members of the “marital affair” website has many people talking. The topic has inspired discussions ranging from its use as divorce grounds to its effect on divorce litigation. The hack has prompted many people to think about whether cheating may or may not affect divorce in the long run, and if does have an effect, how so.
The hack has people wondering whether it would be legal for a spouse to use cheating as grounds for divorce given the way the infidelity was revealed. The legalities of using the information might depend upon how the spouse learned that his or her spouse cheated. If the filing spouse retrieved the data from the Internet, it could be possible to use it in a divorce despite the way that it was made available.
Another consideration is whether or not a judge would even care about a cheating spouse. Many attorneys believe that judges do not typically show an interest in either party’s extramarital love life provided it does not affect any children of the marriage. This would mean that cheating itself has little effect on most divorce outcomes. However, if one spouse could establish that the other spouse used household money to engage in extramarital relations, it could become grounds for divorce.
In high asset divorces where spouses may be looking for ways to prevail in complicated property division proceedings, information like that revealed in the hack might make a difference. It’s essential to get solid legal advice on whether or not it is beneficial to use infidelity as a means to improve your position.
Source: CNBC.com, “Ashley Madison hack: evidence for divorce?,” Jacqueline Newman, July 21, 2015