Articles Posted in Adultery

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Does adultery affect who gets custody?”


An internet dating company that exists to facilitate affairs claims that Huntersville, North Carolina is among the most unfaithful neighborhoods in the country. The news release came from, which compared data from its nearly 21 million members.


Check box Charlotte Family Law Attorney North Carolina Divorce LawyerAccording to AshleyMadison, more than 65,000 of its millions of members come from the Charlotte metropolitan area. Out of this group, more than 9.1 percent are from Huntersville, representing a sizable share of the overall members relative to its share of the metro area’s population. Ballantyne makes up 8.9 percent of local members while uptown is home to 8.8 percent. These three areas are followed by Myers Park, Indian Trail, Dilworth and SouthPark.


According to the founder and CEO of AshleyMadison, income and education are among the most common attributes of areas that are big users of the service. The CEO says that cheating is typically easier for those with more discretionary income, which is why the majority of those cities at the top of his lists are affluent areas.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Does adultery affect my divorce case?”

At least one North Carolina judge has had enough of so-called “heart balm” lawsuits. In a case from Forsyth County, Superior Court Judge John O. Craig wrote that North Carolina’s alienation-of-affections cause of action is unconstitutional because it infringes on people’s rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions.

Telephone poster Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law Attorney     Alienation-of-affections actions are brought by one spouse against the lover of another spouse. Because of the affair, the theory goes, the aggrieved spouse has been deprived of the affections associated with one’s marriage and can recover damages from the third-party paramour for that loss.

Recoveries in heart-balm cases can be significant. In 2011, a Wake County judge awarded a jilted spouse over $30 million in a heart-balm case. That followed a pair of multi-million-dollar awards in 2010 in cases in Pitt and Guilford Counties.

The alienation-of-affections ruling by Judge Craig is only the latest in a decades-long struggle by lawyers, legislators and judges in North Carolina to overturn what critics describe as an archaic cause of action.

The state Court of Appeals abolished the alienation-of-affections action and its lesser-known counterpart – criminal conversation – in 1984 in Cannon v. Miller. The ruling was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 1985. Since then, state legislators have offered a multitude of bills that would outlaw the actions, without success.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”


In a bizarre case out of Maryland, a family court judge was forced to tackle the somewhat embarrassing question of what to do when two parties engaged in some rather adult conversations by text. The issue was that the two adults in question were in the process of divorcing one another, and the court had to decide whether their “sexting” was a problem that could derail the divorce.


Texting phone Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Adultery AttorneyThe issue arose because under Maryland law to secure a no fault divorce a couple must have voluntarily separated from one another for 12 months prior to the filing of the application for divorce. This separation must include the parties living separate and apart without “cohabitating,” a phrase that has been interpreted to prohibit sexual relations between the parties.


The trouble began when Mr. Bergaris filed for divorce from his wife, claiming no fault. Mrs. Bergaris was evidently not interested in divorce and opposed the motion by arguing that during the previous 12 months she and her husband had exchanged numerous sexually explicit telephone communications and text messages. Mrs. Bergaris claimed that these messages meant that the grounds for divorce were invalid and that the request for a divorce should be denied.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Does adultery affect my divorce case?”

Infidelity appears to have caused serious problems in the marriage of Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake. According to several gossip sites the couple are preparing to split after rumors of infidelity surfaced. In addition to the alleged adultery, friends close to the couple are saying that their constant fighting over baby plans have also weighed on the relationship.


Broken Heart Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyAccording to OK! Magazine, the marriage between the couple has been on the rocks for months now as the two have faced a variety of marital troubles. For one thing, Timberlake’s busy schedule touring around the world has made it difficult for the two to spend any substantial time together. His touring schedule has led Timberlake to put off having children and starting a family, something that Biel has taken issue with. Apparently before the two agreed to tie the knot, Timberlake promised Biel that they would try for a baby in short order. However, touring appears to have taken precedence.


In addition to the hectic professional schedule and disagreements over children, others have said that rumors of infidelity have wreaked havoc with the couple. Though rumors have plagued Timberlake for years, Biel appears to have now had enough. Friends say she has moved out of her home and has gotten an apartment of her own. The decision to live “separate and apart” was designed to lay the groundwork for the eventual divorce.

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Divorce Lawyers and Attorneys in Charlotte Mecklenburg County NC North Carolina.jpgOne of the problems for those going through a divorce, especially in todays technologically connected world, is what information an ex might be able to obtain by snooping on your electronic communications.

A recent survey by a phone security company revealed that a third of all respondents said they have snuck glances at or spied on a loved one’s text messages or other phone communications. The question for many, especially those going through a tumultuous divorce, is whether you can find out if anyone is snooping on you.

First things first, if you think someone might be spying on you change all your important passwords: e-mail accounts, bank accounts, credit cards and retirement plans. You can also contact your cellphone carrier and make sure that your GPS tracking service is turned off and can only be activated by yourself.

Those worried about snooping should also keep a low electronic profile, especially on social media sites. If you simply can’t resist the urge to post things online, it’s essential that you at least change your account settings so that only friends that you’ve selected are able to access your page.

For those with Android phones, there’s an app known as HiddenEye which you can install on your phone. The app works by taking a picture of anyone that attempts to gain access to your phone by typing in a wrong password. That way the next time you open up your phone a picture will be stored in the phone’s photo gallery. Other apps work by allowing you to remotely lock or even wipe clean your phone if you believe its been stolen.

For those with iPhones there aren’t as good apps for watching others who may be watching you. The best option is called WhoSnooped, which works by taking a photo of anyone who unlocks a phone. The problem is that the photo is taken very conspicuously and can even be deleted by the person who did the snooping.

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Family Law Attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina.jpgWith all the talk of alimony and custody fights, sometimes a little lightheartedness is appreciated. After all, you’ve got to laugh to keep from crying. In that spirit, the following list of bizarre marriage-related laws on the books in states across the country is meant to inject some humor into an otherwise serious subject.

First things first, in Kentucky, it’s apparently illegal to remarry the same person four times. Why four and not five? The reason is unclear, but I suppose it makes sense that if you haven’t been able to make it work the three previous times, what’s the point in giving it yet another go. Thankfully, as long as it’s different men, you can get married and divorced as many times as you like.

Wichita, Kansas represents an unlikely haven for those husbands who just can’t stand their mothers-in-law. The city has a law on the books which says that a man’s mistreatment of his mother-in-law cannot serve as a grounds for divorce. Though it can’t be used as a basis for divorce, no one thinks making an enemy of your wife’s mother is a good plan for a happy marriage.

California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas, allow for a very odd practice known as marriage by proxy. Marriage by proxy occurs when someone stands in for a bride or groom who is unable to be present at his or her wedding. The states that allow the practice limit it to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, a group who truly would be unable to attend in certain circumstances. Montana takes it a step farther and is the only place in the country where double-proxy weddings are permitted. This means that neither the bride nor the groom needs to be present for an official wedding to take place, something that would make for an odd reception.

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Divorce Lawyers in Charlotte, NC.jpgA mother of two who was the victim of infidelity after 10 years of marriage is trying to make lemonade out of life’s lemons. After her husband left her for a 22-year-old yoga instructor, Elle Zober channeled her frustration into helping sell the family home.

She started by making a sign and placing it in the front yard which reads, “Husband Left Us For 22-Year-Old – House For Sale By Owner (Adulterers Need Not Apply).” Zober says her husband knows about the sales pitch and even chipped in to pay for some of the signs promoting the sale.

Zober also launched a website about the sale,, where she tells her story and offers photos of the property. On the website she says:

“We did everything right. Married ten years. Two kids: one perfect boy, one bouncy, perfect baby girl. We had almost no debt outside of our cars and we bought a house…. but, as with many marriages, our story ends in divorce. I’m not sure how this all happened… but, all I can is that as soon as your husband/wife starts using new texts languages like :/, or starts talking to you like a college kid…. check your phone bill – you’re probably going to be in for a surprise. For me that surprise came in the form of a 22 year old college student who likes yoga… and, other people’s husbands.”

Zober says they have not shown the signs to her children but have no problem airing their dirty laundry in public as long as the house sells. She said both she and her husband want to avoid having the house go into foreclosure, a common problem these days when a divorced family suddenly must support two households on the same amount of money as when there was only one. She’s not just selling the house, Zober has also decided to capitalize on the media attention surrounding her website and is even selling merchandise, including a $5 refrigerator magnet.

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Magnifying Glass.jpgAs you prepare to go through the sometimes tumultuous process of divorce it’s a good idea to make sure your soon-to-be ex isn’t snooping on some of your most private information. There are important reasons why you should avoid sharing your new life with your spouse. Some suggestions you might consider to help this natural separation along include:

• Set up your own bank accounts. One of the very first steps you should take as a newly single individual is to open your own bank accounts. It’s a place to spend money without being watched and to deposit your paychecks without allowing access by the other party.

• Apply for your own credit card(s). Establishing your own credit history is important following a divorce, as is having access to a line of credit that isn’t connected with your ex. This is also a way to keep purchases private.

• Review your “one click” purchasing arrangements. Many retailers make it easy for repeat customers to buy items without having to reenter credit card information. This is great most of the time, but not if your ex is the one racking up the bills. Create your own accounts linked to your own credit card that your spouse does not have access to.

• Get a new cell phone. Your ex doesn’t need to read through all the numbers you dial in a given day or see who you’ve been texting (including lawyers, accountants, even investigators). Splitting apart your cell phone plan is a great way to get a little more privacy.

• Change your online passwords. Many people know each other’s passwords for most if not all accounts. This can include Facebook, email, online banking and shopping. While that’s great when you’re happily married, it can create a multitude of headaches during a contentious divorce. You want to make sure that you alone control your online presence and to do that you’ll need to change your passwords to something your spouse is unlikely to guess. Don’t overlook all those little accounts you never think about. Your ex may remember them very well.

• Change your social media privacy settings. Thing can be made much easier if your ex isn’t forced to see pictures of all the fun you’re having without him or her. Keep your new life quiet and out of your ex’s News Feed.

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couple with hearts.jpg The old saying is “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” It’s really easy when meeting your new love’s former spouse to have thoughts turn negative. And while it’s true that some are every bit as evil as you may want to believe, exes don’t always have to be bad news. Contrary to popular belief, there are situations where an ex can be strictly friends or just a helpful co-parent. With that in mind, follow these rules from to help manage an ex in your life.

1. Set the right tone and be friendly
It’s true what they say; you usually get what you expect from people. If you’re already expecting the wicked witch and treat the ex as such that’s likely what you’ll get. Even if the ex had good intentions your negativity could turn her away.

2. Find common interests the two of you share
You might find that after getting to know the ex that you actually have lots in common (besides your current partner of course). Avoiding over sharing (which we’ll discuss later) and the two of you might be able to get along swimmingly.

3. Never discuss your current relationship issues
As we mentioned above too much information can be a danger of hanging out with an ex. In order to be friendly with your current partner’s ex you MUST leave the personal details of your current relationship out of it. Not only will telling too much invite a third person into your relationship, but it can poison the remaining good feelings between the recently broken up parties.

4. Watch feelings of jealousy
Trust is obviously an important ingredient to any relationship, but when it comes to exes who are still in the picture, it’s essential. Dealing with someone who knew him before you did (and probably knows things about him that you have yet to discover) can be unnerving, to say the least. The fear that they might get back together can lurk beneath the surface but is ultimately destructive not just to your possible friendship but even to your relationship. Constant worrying can create problems that may not have existed in their absence.

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hands.jpgAccording to one recent article, it can be difficult to know how to approach a future relationship with your ex. It’s complicated given all the water under the bride and can be awkward moving forward. A good general rule of thumb is that amicable splits make for better friendships than ones involving infidelity and jealousy.

The article lays out five questions to ask yourself to determine if you’ve really moved on and are able to just be friends with your former spouse.
1. You immediately want to be friends after breaking up.

Accepting that your partner is no longer part of your life is a great way to move on from the marriage. This realization may allow you to salvage a friendship. People who can’t accept life without their spouse often don’t make for good friends as the underlying reason is to try and stay close to someone they weren’t ready to party with.

2. You miss your ex’s company.

You need to decide what exactly you miss, is it that romantic alone time or the funny jokes you’d tell laugh about together. Articulating this will help you decide whether you are missing the actual person vs. missing the relationship.

3. You talk about the past often.

Taking trips down memory is normal in the beginning to pave over an awkward situation. But if you continue to dwell on the past or have relationship talk that shows that you’re not ready to move on and that you’re only attempting to cling to what once was.

4. You talk about dating other people.

Talking about romantic relationships with new people is awkward, but if jealousy rears its head that’s a good sign that the friendship is not strictly platonic. You may believe that you can maintain a friendship without disclosing each other’s romantic lives, but this is likely untrue. Dating and relationships will continue to be a part of both of your lives and if you are unable to share this, then the point of the friendship lacks the opportunity to grow and change.

5. You think about getting back together one day.

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