Ashley Madison is a popular website which allows its members to discreetly illicit extramarital affairs. It boasts that “thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands sign up every day looking for an affair.” Recently, the website was hacked and personal information related to its members were leaked to the internet. Websites have been created to allow people to check whether or not they have been affected by the event.
If you have been affected by the leak, whether or not you are the spouse who has elicited an extramarital affair or you are the spouse who has been cheated on, it is important to speak with one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Batch, Poore and Williams, PC to know your options and legal rights. We can assist you in getting through this horrendous ordeal. Generally speaking, alimony (or spousal support) is the area affected the most by an extramarital affair. There are a couple of legal points you should know right now. The first is what is alimony and who qualifies to receive it. The second is how adultery affects alimony.
- What is Alimony? In North Carolina, a dependent spouse is entitled to financial support from a supporting spouse. The financial support payments are called alimony. A dependent spouse is a husband or wife who is dependent upon the other spouse for support or in need of support from the other spouse. A supporting spouse is the dependent spouse’s husband or wife. In a suit for spousal support, a court must make a determination that there is a dependent spouse, a supporting spouse and that the supporting spouse has a reasonable ability to pay the dependent spouse. If the court determines all three of these things are present in the case, the court will determine the amount, duration and manner in which payment of alimony will be made.
- How Adultery Affects Alimony: What matters in North Carolina is not necessarily whether an affair took place but whether “illicit sexual behavior” occurred between a spouse and someone other than the other spouse. Illicit sexual behavior includes, but is not limited to, sexual intercourse and oral sex. Generally in North Carolina, if the dependent spouse engages in illicit sexual behavior, he or she cannot receive alimony. If the supporting spouse engages in illicit sexual behavior, he or she must pay alimony. If they both engaged in it, whether or not to award alimony is completely up to the judge. It is very important to note that the judge will not consider any illicit sexual behavior in determining whether or not alimony should be award if the spouse forgave the other spouse for the illicit sexual behavior. This means that if you are the dependent spouse and you forgive the supporting spouse for cheating, the judge will not automatically grant alimony. If you are the supporting spouse and you forgive the dependent spouse for cheating, the judge will not automatically make a determination that you do not have to pay alimony payments.
- Alienation of Affection and Criminal conversation lawsuits can be filed in divorces which result from affairs/adultery. These lawsuits can result in extensive monetary judgments. It is important that you find out your rights with regards to pursuing and/or defending these type of actions if you adultery has played a part in your marriage or more importantly, if you’ve had an affair with a married person.
Please contact us today to learn more about how the law applies to your particular circumstances and to get assistance from our team of attorneys.