How Infidelity Can Impact Your Divorce

Since the Ashley Madison hack, which leaked private information about some 37 million members seeking to cheat on their spouses, divorce lawyers are reporting that their phones are lighting up like Christmas trees.

Members of Ashley Madison, the adultery website, and their "suspecting spouses" are struggling with how the information leak may affect their life and divorce – if at all. Here is how infidelity can affect your divorce:

1. Grounds for divorce.Most states, including California have no fault divorce laws. This means that the judge doesn't care why you're splitting up. The judge's job is to ensure that the community property and debt is divided fairly and the children's best interests are protected.

In the case of adultery, the "wronged" spouse who is hurt and angry often thinks that the judge will take that into account. The judge won't. On the other hand, the cheating spouse may feel so guilty, that they agree to an overly generous settlement.

2. Asset division. Just because a spouse cheated, it doesn't mean that you get more money. In the legal sense, divorce is not about making amends. However, if you can supply bank or credit card statements that prove that your cheating spouse spent money on the Ashley Madison site, or on flights, hotel stays, gifts, or dinners, etc., then they should be prepared to come up with at least half the cost.

3. Child custody. If your husband was a member of the site and listed "unconventional" sexual preferences, that doesn't mean it could be used against him in a custody fight. What happens in the bedroom isn't for the eyes of the children or the ears of the judge.

While a 50 Shades of Grey disclosure on an Ashley Madison profile won't typically be equated with bad parenting, specific "preferences" may tip the scales in an innocent spouse's favor.

Getting a divorce? Call Claery & Hammond, LLP to meet with a Los Angeles divorce attorney!