Infidelity in Marriages: What Impact Does the Ashley Madison Hack Have on Divorces?
The infamous Ashley Madison hack being broadcasted by news agencies worldwide may affect up to 1 million Australians. The Canadian-based company sported the motto, “Life is short. Have an affair.” With the personal information of registered members being released online, many Australians may wonder the impact that the hack may have on their divorce. To figure this out, you would have to look at the divorce laws in Australia.
Australia’s “No Fault Jurisdiction”
Unlike many other areas of the world, like some states in the United States of America, Australia works under a no fault jurisdiction. This means that it is unnecessary for either party involved in the divorce to prove to the court that the other is at fault in order for the marriage to be dissolved. Because of this, proof or even speculation of there being infidelity will have little relevance to the divorce proceedings.
Divorce Process in Australia
With a no fault jurisdiction, married couples only need to be separated for a period of 12 months before either party can apply for a divorce in court. In short, married couples looking to get a divorce as a result of information that has come to light from the Ashley Madison hack do not need to disclose the reasons behind why they are getting a divorce. They simply need to start the process of becoming separated. The decision to separate can be an individual choice and does not need to be made jointly.
To be considered as separated, couples must cease to have any contact or relationship of a married couple. This includes separating finances, sleeping in different rooms or moving out entirely and ceasing participation in any family activities together. Married couples can still consider themselves as separated even if they are living underneath the same roof; however, if this applies to you, you will need to find a witness to back up your claims.
The Distribution of Marital Assets and Custody
Since Australia operates under a no fault jurisdiction, the fact that you found out that your spouse was unfaithful thanks to the Ashley Madison hack will have no effect on the distribution of marital assets or custody arrangements. Marital assets will be distributed evenly among couples, and the child’s best interest will be taken into account by the court when discussing custodial arrangements.
The Ashley Madison hack may have brought to light many hidden secrets within a marriage. Although it may propel the motion of divorce, the information from the hack itself will not have any effect on the divorce proceedings at all.
For more information on divorce proceedings, contact a professional law firm, such as Russo Lawyers.