The threats to publicly out 37 million users of the online cheating service whose information was hacked from AshleyMadison.com’s servers are raising questions among divorce service professionals and marriage counselors alike. Could the public display of people seeking affairs result in more divorce filings? How will those individuals named be harmed in a divorce? I spoke with Emma Johnson, a financial reporter with Forbes, about the issue:
“There is a real cultural disparity between what people expect will happen in court in the case of infidelity, and what actually happens,” says Richardson. “The ‘victim’ of cheating believes that what happened to them is the worst of the worst. They instinctively believe that they will go to court and the judge will let their husband or wife have it. But when they get to court, the judge has no interest in the salacious details of your marriage. To them, it’s just another marriage that didn’t work out.”
There are are incidence when cheating can be leveraged to win a better settlement or ruling, Richardson says:
- You might be able to have more say over your custody or visitation arrangement if you can prove your spouse was bringing a lover around the kids, or spending time flirting online with potential hookups while with the children.
- If a prenup specifies steeper financial payouts in the event of infidelity. Serial cheater Tiger Woods’s prenuptial agreement contained such a clause.
- If proof of an affair can be used to damage the soon-to-be-spouse’s personal or professional reputation.
Read more from the story at Ashley Madison Hack Would Mean ‘Boon for Divorce Lawyers and Marriage Therapists’
WWYD if he’s on the list? Have you faced issues in your marriage that made the divorce more difficult? Were you able to overcome after an affair?
Discuss in the comments.