It has finally happened! The Ashley Madison info has been leaked. This is very interesting for divorce lawyers. The information was collected through illicit means, are we going to be permitted to use it in court? What happens if we had previously subpoenaed the Ashley Madison website on our cases that involved possible adultery or inappropriate marital conduct only to find out the spouse had attempted to delete their membership?
Adultery is a big deal in divorces still and especially something like this website because with contested divorces your lawyer will be looking for a way to get you more of the marital assets. One of the ways to do this is alleging the other spouse misappropriated the marital assets by spending them on other women or men in these illicit affairs. Ashley Madison is a national website, so was the spouse flying out to visit people? Paying for hotel rooms? At a minimum, they were paying for membership. Of course, that would have shown up on a credit card but what if the spouse was using a credit card number that had not been disclosed in discovery and now has been turned over? Most Marital Dissolution Agreements also contain a clause about full-disclosure. It would not surprise me to see someone file for a post-divorce modification regarding the information leaked if their spouse had lied about it in the divorce proceeding. New discoveries can lead to changes in alimony and other damages in post-divorce proceedings.
Divorce is already a minefield for anyone with assets, tossing in the Ashley Madison leak is like adding the air force to the fight. This leak is also going to be the gift that keeps on giving, since people who may have no idea of the infidelity may find out five years from now when their divorce lawyer searches the name on the database. The Nashville divorce judges take misappropriating funds very seriously so make sure your divorce lawyer has access to this data even if you do not think there was any cheating.
To read more about the leak, check out the Wired.com article.