Many Maryland readers were completely unaware of the company Ashley Madison, or the services that it provides its clients. However, the recent hack into the company’s website has brought the seedy details of the company into the light of day. Ashley Madison is a service that offers married people the opportunity to find individuals willing to engage in an affair. A group known as The Impact Team was able to hack into the company’s files, and a list of the nearly 39 million users has been released to the public. As spouses access that information and find that their partner was or is an Ashley Madison client, some may seek a divorce.
The leaked information is accessible in a number of ways, and many spouses are checking to see if their husband or wife will be listed among those who have made efforts to cheat. Finding one’s spouse on this list is an incredibly upsetting thing, and many people are unsure how to proceed from that point forward. While the urge to confront one’s partner might feel overwhelming, it is important that spouses take the time to think through their options.
If a spouse has been cheating, there may be other things that have been kept secret. An example lies in the dissipation of marital funds. This is the act of spending marital wealth for the purpose of conducting an affair, or when money is given to a romantic partner outside of the marriage. The loss of such funds can be direct, such as cash gifts, or indirect, such as jewelry or hotel room charges. When a spouse uses marital funds to pay for acts of adultery, those choices can factor into the division of property during a divorce.
In order to prove dissipation of marital funds, a spouse must gather the proper documentation. This can include bank statements or credit card bills, as well as email or other messages in which one’s spouse is discussing those expenditures with a paramour. Often, a spouse who has been caught cheating will take swift action to cover his or her tracks. This means that a Maryland spouse who discovers his or her partner within the Ashley Madison database might have an advantage within divorce, and should take care to gather as much information as possible prior to initiating a confrontation.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Lawyers Brace For ‘Tsunami’ After Ashley Madison Hack“, Alexander C. Kaufman, Aug. 19, 2015