The Rise of Digital Infidelity During COVID-19

by | Dec 18, 2020

We are all tired of discussing pandemic life and the #newnormal.  What we are seeing is that Ashley Madison, there has been an average of “17,000 new users each day since the public health crisis” with “14% of men having virtual sex with their affair partners” according to the Chief Strategy Officer Paul Keable.  The same insight reported that more than three-quarters of the website’s client survery reported that they had not tried to “spice up” their sex life with their spouse while sheltering in place.

How do you know if your spouse is one of the daily 17,000 new users in this pandemic?

First, check the financial accounts for a charge labeled “AMDA” for approximately $89.00.  If you see this charge, you have confirmed that someone with access to that account has set up an account with Ashley Madison.  Download these statements and keep them in a secure dropbox or box account.

Secondly, if you choose to confront your spouse, do so in writing via text or email.  Don’t use adjectives or adverbs that may have emotions tied behind it.  Certainly consider your co-parenting relationship moving forward before choosing to confront your spouse.

Third, consider what other choices your spouse has taken during the pandemic.  Are they sneaking out of the house to party at local COVID hotspots on Halloween after the rest of the family goes to bed?  Are they always on their phone ignoring the family at dinner?  Are they drinking heavily suddenly and otherwise acting depressed?  If you can’t put your finger on it, these are signs of infidelity.  If your spouse has not engaged in the physical act of sex yet, it is likely just for lack of opportunity, rather than lack of intent.

Last, consider whether it is wise to resume marital relations (sex) with your spouse if divorce is imminent.  If you do choose to resume marital relations, it can be considered forgiving any actual sexual affair in your divorce.  For some cases, this may not affect the financial issues such as alimony and division of assets and debts, but for other divorces, this can be an important fact.

Consider how their choices have affected your family during the pandemic.  Has their desire to flirt out at local restaurants into the middle of the night exposed your children to COVID-19?  Did the $89 they spent on Ashley Madison, or other financial choices they’ve made for their “virtual” cheating, limit your children’s holiday gifts?  Make note of these concerns before speaking with an attorney.

An experienced family law attorney will help you understand your rights and obligations in a divorce with cheating involved.

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