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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses The Ashley Madison Hack and Adultery

Written by Amar Weisman » September 9, 2015 »

Over the last few weeks, we have heard numerous stories related to the Ashley Madison hack --some of which have not had happy endings. However, as your Towson divorce lawyer knows, the Ashley Madison website has brought about the need for a candid conversation about the role adultery can play in a Maryland divorce.

Have you recently learned that your spouse was on Ashley Madison? Have you heard from a friend that your spouse has been cheating on you? If you have, you may be wondering about your legal options, particularly when it comes to separation and/or divorce. We’ve discussed adultery in past blogs; however, in light of recent events, we find it important to revisit the issue and remind couples how adultery may be used in a divorce case.

Adultery is a Fault-Based Ground for Divorce

Maryland recognizes non-fault and fault grounds for divorce. Adultery is one of several fault-based grounds for which individuals can seek a divorce. What that means for the soon-to-be divorced couple is they will not have to separate for any length of time prior to filing -- an individual can file right away.

Property Distribution

Whenever adultery is involved in the demise of a marriage, the court must take a number of factors under consideration -- one of which concerns the occurrence of infidelity during the marriage. The law does not govern how heavily a judge weighs such factors, and in fact, adultery is often not easy for a judge to assess.

For instance, with respect to adultery, a judge will need to look at what may have caused the spouse to stray from the marriage.

Then, he or she must consider whether or not the straying spouse contributed to the household financially or in other ways. Parting couples have no way to know how heavily a judge will weigh the occurrence of adultery when it comes to making a property award. Divorces are typically very fact specific; still, adultery may play a large role when it comes to property distribution.


Judges must also make alimony awards in some divorce cases, and if adultery has been presented as part of the case, the award may be affected in one way or another. Years ago, old alimony laws would call for the denial of alimony in cases where the requesting party committed adultery. However, in today’s world, the length of alimony and/or the amount provided may be affected.

Be Sure to Check…and Re-Check Your Financials

When a spouse strays from the marriage, it is not uncommon to learn that he or she has also been hiding other things -- particularly those related to marital finances. All too often, the cheating spouse is using some of the marital funds to fuel the affair. If that is the case, he or she may attempt to cover things up by destroying any possible documentation or evidence.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.