Caught on Ashley Madison? How Adultery Affects Divorce

With more than 40 million users worldwide, the Ashley Madison hack—and release of thousands of email addresses, names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal details—is nothing to laugh about for many. Now that the site, which provides a medium for adulterous spouses to engage in extramarital affairs, has been hacked—and 32 million philanderers have allegedly been compromised—the divorce rate is planned to skyrocket. If you’ve been caught on Ashley Madison, here’s what you need to know about how adultery affects divorce in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Adultery and Divorce in Massachusetts

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 1, adultery is fault ground for which a divorce may be pursued and granted in the state. In terms of how adultery may affect other important factors in a divorce, such as an alimony amount, child support, and division of property, the effect may be minimal. While Massachusetts laws requires that judges consider a number of factors when determining an alimony payment, adultery is not one of them. However, “other factors “ that are deemed relevant and material will be consider by the judge; depending upon surrounding circumstances, adultery may be one of them.

Furthermore, adultery will typically not affect a child custody order unless the adultery in some way interferes with the parent’s ability to raise the child, i.e., if the parent abandoned the child during the extramarital affair, or if the child is exposed to the extramarital relationship during the course of the divorce proceedings.

New Hampshire Divorce and Adultery

As in Massachusetts, adultery is also a ground for divorce in New Hampshire. And similar to Massachusetts, adultery will not affect a parenting plan unless the adulterous behavior caused harm to the child, psychological or otherwise.

However, unlike Massachusetts code, Title XLIII Domestic Relations, Chapter 458 – Annulment, Divorce and Separation, Section 458:19 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, specifically calls for the consideration of “the fault of either party.” To be sure, the code references back to the state’s grounds for divorce, adultery being one of them. As such, a court may consider adulterous behavior when determining an alimony amount. Fault is also considered when determining a property settlement amount in a New Hampshire divorce.

Why You Need a Divorce Attorney on Your Side

If you’ve been caught on Ashley Madison, your adulterous behavior could have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce. To help to ensure that you get the fairest property division settlement, alimony agreement, and child custody order possible, seek the counsel of a New Hampshire and Massachusetts divorce attorney today. At the Law Offices of Attorney Michael F. Mimno, our Andover and Londonderry divorce lawyers are ready to get to work on your case now. Call us to request a free consultation at 978-470-4567 or 603-479-1152