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What to do About Infidelity: Hackers and the Ashley Madison Leak

The Ashley Madison hack may have some people wondering what to do if they discover their partner has been unfaithful.

Infidelity can be relevant to divorce proceedings as adultery is a basis for divorce if it is admitted or can be proved. If your spouse has had a relationship with another person this can also be used as evidence of unreasonable behaviour which is another ground for divorce.

Unreasonable behaviour is when a person can no longer be reasonably expected to live with their partner because of how they have behaved. In the case of the Ashley Madison data hack this could apply to someone who discovered their spouse had signed up to the infidelity website.

One point to remember is that finding your spouse’s details are linked to a website like Ashley Madison is not necessarily the same as committing adultery. One reason for this is because of the uncertainty around the legitimacy of the details that have been released in the hack.

I would recommend that anyone who is concerned about issues relating to adultery or the Ashley Madison hack should seek further legal advice as this is a complex area of family law.

In order to get divorced you must prove that your marriage has broken down irretrievably by establishing one of these five facts:

1. Adultery - The other party in the marriage (the Respondent) has committed adultery and the party wishing to divorce (the Petitioner) finds it intolerable to live with them.

2. Unreasonable Behaviour - The other party in the marriage has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.

3. Desertion - The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years.

4. Two Years' Separation with Consent - The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years and the Respondent consents to a divorce being granted.

5. Five Years' Separation - The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years.

If you want to discover more about the legal side of divorce you can read our blog on the five facts needed to prove a marriage has broken down irretrievably or What is Adultery?

Vicki McLynn is a Principal Family Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

The Divorce Law Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer expert advice about divorce, mediation and finances on separation. To speak with us call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you back.

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