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How Will Ashley Madison Affect Pennsylvania Divorces?

By Sheryl Rentz on August 19, 2015

man peeking between fingers

Ashley Madison is a controversial online website that’s meant to help married men and women discreetly find romance outside of their marriage. Their slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Recently the website has been hacked, enabling the hackers to make public the names of its members, along with their credit card numbers, addresses, and sexual preferences. Infidelity has existed for hundreds of years, but the hacking of a website designed to help cheating is a modern-day situation.

Membership status on the Ashley Madison website being made public has lead to spouses filing for divorce, alleging adultery. If the hack leads to more divorces, most states have a no-fault divorce option, meaning the cheating won’t really affect the divorce proceedings. Of course, it may be used as leverage in settlements, but cheating has nothing to do with the law.

Judges might review and consider the amount of marital assets a cheating spouse spent on the affair and use that number against them when splitting marital assets. Using marital assets to subsidize an affair is known as a dissipation of marital assets. Ashley Madison works on a credit basis, and is hard to know if a regular membership on the site will be considered a dissipation of marital assets.

In Pennsylvania, a judge must consider fault grounds when determining alimony. This means the adulterous spouse may find themselves having to pay alimony, long after Ashley Madison is a household name.

Your best course of action is to get a resolution of the legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. If you or a loved one is facing a divorce, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. for a free consultation on how you should proceed.


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