Ashley Madison – an organization that runs a dating website exclusively for married people searching for an affair in a confidential environment – has recently been hacked. The result of the cyber-attack was that nearly 40 million user accounts were exposed to the public eye – including their unknowing spouses.
In wake of the exposure, there seems to be a sudden spike in divorce rates in cities across the world, including New York and Long Island. The question that hangs in everyone’s mind, however, is whether or not getting caught with an Ashley Madison account actually changes anything in a divorce.
New York State Uses No-Fault Divorce Regulations
Since 2010, New York has been a no-fault divorce state, which basically means you or your spouse can file for a divorce at any given time for just about any reason. “Irreconcilable differences” are often cited as reasoning for a divorce nowadays, rather than pointing at hard proof of needing to dissolve the marriage, such as a domestic violence or infidelity. As no evidence is required to begin a divorce, actual evidence will not usually make much difference one way or the other.
If your spouse was caught with an account on Ashley Madison – and perhaps even had interactions with other users – this does not necessary gain you any distinct advantage in your divorce. The court is supposed to see you both equally and treat you both fairly when dividing the assets, regardless of the reasons behind the divorce. In many settings, this means a 50-50 split of property that is marital – collected together after the marriage became official.
In matters regarding children, however, an Ashely Madison account in your spouse’s name could work to your advantage if a divorce attorney can spin it right. For child custody and child support matters, judges always rule in favor of what is perceived as “best for the children” or “in the child’s best interests.” If your spouse cheated on you, or had real intentions of trying to cheat on you, your lawyer could use it as evidence of general irresponsibility or a lack of familial commitment; to expect them to responsibly raise a child might be out of the question.
If you need family law help after discovering that your spouse was listed on Ashley Madison, you can rely on our Long Island divorce attorneys for support. At Rubenfeld Law Firm, we have more than 30 years of experience helping families in need and we offer completely free initial consultations, so why not start working with us today? Call 631.777.7200 for more information.