The over 30 million members of Ashley Madison may see themselves in divorce court sometime soon. An anonymous group who calls themselves “The Impact Team” leaked personal information from adultery website AshleyMadison.com over the past weekend.
The first batch of data was released on Reddit and parts of the deep web on Sunday. As previously reported via the Inquisitr, a second batch of data was just released on Thursday evening (August 16). It doesn’t look like the Ashley Madison leak is going to slow down anytime soon.
Divorce lawyers in Washington D.C. are gearing up for what could be a very busy season, if not year. Some of them are offering free advice to those caught red-handed in the Ashley Madison leak.
Divorce attorney Marna Tucker simply said, “Do not trust the internet for any of your personal lives.”
She also advises against using work email addresses to hide their secret affairs. Obviously, it’s too late for some of the millions of Ashley Madison members who have been found out by their friends, family, colleagues, and spouses. Millions of these people have been checking the numerous database search engines to see if someone they know was registered on AshleyMadison.com.
Divorce lawyers are expecting a spike in business sometime soon. Steve Mindel, a family law attorney from Los Angeles, calls the Ashley Madison leak “Christmas in September” for most law offers.
Another divorce attorney told the Huffington Post business editor, Alexander C. Kaufman, that some law offices were already so busy that they can’t even keep up with the phone calls from scorned spouses. The media outlet tried to call one of the law offices, but all of their attorneys were too busy handling client calls.
“The attorneys are unavailable because there are so many people calling right now. You’ll have to call back later.”
Meanwhile, another attorney is calling the spur of calls as “the tsunami,” rather than seeing it as Christmas in August or September. Susan M. Moss, a partner of New York firm Chemtob Moss & Foman, explains that the uptick in calls is just the beginning.
“With this release of data, every curious spouse in America is going to check to see if their partner is on the list. This will lead to an influx of more divorces — or at the very least some very difficult conversations.”
There is a question as to whether or not the Ashley Madison hack will cause the divorce rate to spike. Some states like California are “no-fault” states, meaning that the spouse filing for divorce doesn’t have to prove adultery committed by the other spouse. The Ashley Madison leak would’ve been beneficial to the divorce law back in the 1970s. In order to file for a divorce, the spouse would have to prove one of the several fault grounds, and adultery was one of the ones on that list, according to another report via the Huffington Post.
Christopher Loizeaux, a family law attorney in Napa, explains how the “no-fault” law works.
“California is a no-fault state, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re signed up for the website or not. If someone wants a divorce, they get one. People have affairs. This website may make it easier for them, but people who are inclined to cheat are going to find a way.”
It’s also easier for people to cheat these days with the popularity of the internet and social media, many lawyers have pointed out. It’s made it incredibly easier for spouses to prove their significant others are cheating, especially if they live in a state that has a “fault” divorce law. One survey found that Facebook is a cause of a third of divorce cases. About 81 percent of divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer said that Facebook was the most used site when it comes to providing online evidence. As for Loizeaux, he claims that he hasn’t received a large number of calls from scorned spouses since the Ashley Madison data has leaked.
It seems like divorce lawyers and family attorneys are divided on whether or not the Ashley Madison leak will cause a spike in the business. But it will be interesting to see if this hack will cause the divorce rate to increase within the next year.
[Image: Jennifer Pahlka/Wikimedia Commons]