Cheat site hack leads to spike in di­vorce help

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE Ash­ley Madi­son hack has seen di­vorce en­quires spike in Bucks, a fam­ily lawyer has re­vealed.

Ash­ley Madi­son is a web­site which al­lows mar­ried peo­ple to cheat on their part­ners. The site was hacked in July and the names of 37mil­lion cheaters were re­vealed.

Fam­ily so­lic­i­tor at IBB So­lic­i­tors, in Church Street, Che­sham, Richard Phillips is urg­ing those un­happy in their mar­riage to seek mar­riage coun­selling, rather then us­ing web­sites such as Ash­ley Madi­son.

He said: “In­stead of look­ing for what is usu­ally short-term ex­cite­ment, those tempted by an af­fair should think about re­la­tion­ship coun­selling, to ex­plore the is­sues in the mar­riage, and ex­am­ine whether the re­la­tion­ship is worth sav­ing and can be saved. Although some re­la­tion­ships can re­cover af­ter an af­fair, it can take a long time to re­build trust. It is much bet­ter to work out what is wrong and to try to find a pre­ven­ta­tive so­lu­tion, rather than ret­ro­spec­tively try to fix per­haps ir­repara­ble dam­age.”

Mr Phillips said just be­cause some­one was on the site does not nec­es­sar­ily mean they had an af­fair.

He added: “In the wake of the Ash­ley Madi­son hack­ing, many peo­ple will be very wor­ried about their names and other de­tails ap­pear­ing in public. They will all fear that their spouses or part­ners might find out and seek di­vorce. Proof of reg­is­tra­tion on a site such as Ash­ley Madi­son is not in it­self proof of an af­fair, but of­ten, merely know­ing your spouse con­sid­ered an af­fair is enough se­ri­ous harm.

“How­ever, the trend for af­fairs is not new. Be­fore the days of dat­ing sites and so­cial media, “lonely hearts” ads in news­pa­pers’ clas­si­fied sec­tions at­tracted peo­ple seek­ing re­la­tion­ships out of mar­riage. Now, a de­gree of ef­fi­ciency has been brought to the search for an af­fair.

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“Even be­fore Ash­ley Madi­son, di­vorce pe­ti­tions cited so­cial media as be­ing at least partly re­spon­si­ble for the break­down of mar­riages, with clients reestab­lish­ing re­la­tion­ships with first loves or old flames. Some peo­ple find hap­pi­ness and ful­fil­ment but most do not, and leave a trail of great un­hap­pi­ness and bit­ter­ness.”

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