Ashley Madison, a popular adultery website, was hacked earlier this month. Their tagline, “Life is short. Have an Affair.” exemplifies the company’s and the users’ values. An estimated 36 million users’ accounts were compromised, and since the breach, several independent sites have popped up in which you can check the leaked info from the Ashley Madison data dump to see if your spouse was a member.

If you recently found out your spouse was a member, the shock and pain is likely raw and intense for you right now. We encourage you to consider marital counseling to weigh your options and determine if reconciliation is a possibility. If you are even contemplating divorce, and especially if you are doing so because of an emotionally-charged event like cheating, you need a lawyer for divorce.

Your anger could get the best of you, and you might do or say things that could wind up hurting your case in the long run if you get a divorce. It’s far better to try to keep your cool and handle the divorce smartly.

Does Infidelity Affect a Divorce?

Washington is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that infidelity does not matter in divorce proceedings. It doesn’t matter with child custody decisions, nor does it matter in alimony decisions. All the judge needs to understand is that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences.

There are, however, two types of circumstances that do sometimes come up that can affect a divorce when one partner has been cheating.

•    Wasting marital assets: If your spouse was spending a significant amount of wages (which is considered a community asset) or your joint savings on items for the person he or she cheated on you with, it could affect the marital settlement agreement. The judge may award more assets in your favor to make up for the funds your spouse spent on trips, motels, meals, gifts, etc.

•    STD infections: Another unfortunate event that can arise is when the cheating spouse infects their partner with an STD they contracted from their illicit relationships. If your ex gave you a serious STD, such an HIV, hepatitis, or syphilis, the judge might award you with a larger portion of the marital assets as recovery.

Protect Yourself from a Cheating Spouse, Hire a Divorce Lawyer

If you are unable or unwilling to make amends with your spouse and wish to file for divorce, you’ll want to speak to a lawyer straight away to begin working on the documents. Note, if you’re concerned about cheating and depletion of assets, there might be some digging necessary to unearth stashed or squandered funds. The Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny can help. Call today at 425-460-0550 and schedule a consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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