When it comes to pulling the trigger on divorce, will it even matter that your spouse has been caught red handed engaging in online infidelity? For one thing, all 50 states have enacted no-fault options, which allow you to get a divorce without proving that your spouse engaged in adultery or some other type of marital misconduct that caused your marriage.Instead, generally one spouse simply needs to allege that there are irreconcilable differences or that the partners have become incompatible and that there's no hope for the marriage.
As a practical matter, regardless of what the law says, even the most impartial judge can fall victim to his or her own empathy, and when particularly egregious, evidence like text messages, emails and social media can and do influence spousal support awards and property division.
On a sidenote, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that evidence of cyber cheating could influence the outcome in divorce cases where child custody is in dispute.
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The exact definition of marital misconduct varies by state and case law, but generally includes behavior that falls short of traditional adultery.
Still, in many of these states, the misconduct must have a financial component, especially when it comes to property division.
The misconduct must generally impact the innocent spouse financially in order to be considered in property division.
Among the most common ways for a spouse to show economic detriment include the cheating spouse spending money on gifts and other activities for the object of his affection and paying for access to paid websites such as live web cams and chat lines.
Moreover, while carrying on a traditional physical extramarital relationship requires the participants to find time away from work and family for secret rendezvous, strictly online infidelity affords a cheating mate the ability to be in almost constant contact with multiple paramours, all while sitting right next to his or her unsuspecting spouse on the sofa.
Another problem with non-physical online relationships, phone sex and sexting is that there is no guarantee that the encounters will remain at a distance and that the two will never meet face to face.
Cyber cheating has rapidly grown to be a leading cause for divorce over the last decade Often, these activities start out innocently enough, but before long, the friendship becomes more flirtatious and eventually morphs into a full blown online relationship that takes an spouse's already waning attention away from his or her marriage.