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Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ashley Madison Fallout: How the Hack Could Impact Marriages Nationwide

Could evidence from the AshleyMadison.com hack come up in a pending divorce action?

There are a number of ways the recent AshleyMadison.com hack may impact pending divorce actions, both in Arizona and nationwide. In the wake of the scandal – which purportedly exposed the alleged infidelity of over 30 million paid subscribers – experts predict a sudden boon for divorce attorneys across the United States. However, evidence of a subscription on a cheater’s website does not, in and of itself, create or necessitate a divorce cause of action – particularly in light of the nationwide reliance on no-fault divorce to expedite and streamline the marital dissolution process.

One way, however, an Ashley Madison affair could alter the course of a marriage and/or divorce is if the parties had entered into a premarital agreement containing a fidelity clause. Often, premarital agreements contain language addressing the situation in which one of the spouses is unfaithful to the other – which can trigger significant financial rewards for the non-cheating spouse who seeks divorce. For instance, a premarital agreement might have a clause allowing the non-cheating spouse to receive a sum of money in the event infidelity is uncovered – a notion which has been implemented in celebrity and high-net worth premarital agreements.

In Arizona, which is a no-fault divorce state, evidence of adultery generally will not have any impact on the outcome of a divorce. In other words, a spouse cannot obtain higher alimony by proving her ex was popular on AshleyMadison.com. However, if the parties had engaged in what’s known as a “covenant marriage” under Arizona law, adultery would provide a basis for the filing of a divorce action. 

If you are considering divorce, whether or not issues of infidelity are involved,  and would like to speak to a reputable divorce attorney in Arizona, please contact Mitch Cohen at Cohen Family Law. Proudly serving the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, we can be reached at: 602-714-8898.


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