Ashley Madison Hack is Likely to Prompt Divorces

The news has been focused this month on the recent cyberattack of the online dating site Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison is a social online dating platform specifically marketed to married people, encouraging users of the site to meet other married users to engage in an extramarital affair. The site promoted itself as being discreet, and offered services to keep user’s information confidential.

Wired.com reports that hacking group Impact Team justified its cyberattack against Avid Life Media, the company that owns Ashley Madison and similar sites, by alleging that Avid Life Media lied to its users when it claimed to offer an option where users could pay to delete their customer information from Avid Life Media’s servers and records to ensure complete discretion. The mere fact that the group was able to procure gigabytes of confidential information about Ashley Madison users lends support to the group’s contentions that Avid Life Media’s claim of complete discretion was false.

The hackers dumped more than 9.7 gigabytes of data related to users of the extramarital affair website, including names, email addresses, and partial credit card information onto the Internet. As more and more of the dumped data becomes easily accessible and searchable, suspicious spouses will be able to check if their husband or wife was signed up for the services offered by Ashley Madison.

However, just because a person’s name is part of the Ashley Madison data dump does not necessarily mean that he or she engaged in an extramarital affair, although the circumstantial evidence would be difficult to disprove.

A Wave of Divorces On The Horizon?

There has been much speculation about whether there will be a hike in divorce rates once many extramarital relations are uncovered. It is almost a near certainty that some spouses who find out that their husband or wife was using the site to specifically search for a relationship outside of their marriage will take action. And in states like South Carolina, an affair is grounds to pursue divorce.

Under S.C. Code Section 20-3-10, a divorce can be granted when one spouse has committed adultery in the marriage. The evidence of the adultery only needs to be sufficient to show that an extramarital relationship existed. Even merely admitting that an affair occurred is enough to create grounds for divorce. Adultery as the grounds for divorce can have an impact on whether a spouse is eligible for alimony. Specifically, under S.C. Code Section 20-3-130, a spouse who commits adultery is ineligible for an alimony award in the divorce.

Contacting a Charleston Divorce Attorney

If you are concerned about being exposed due to the cyberattack on the Ashley Madison site, or have questions about your rights when it comes to a divorce based on adultery, you should not hesitate to discuss your concerns with an experienced South Carolina divorce attorney. Contact the Charleston divorce lawyers at Sarji Law Firm, today.

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