Articles Posted in Adultery

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


By now you have likely heard of the Ashley Madison hack.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, and the countless others who pretend to be unfamiliar with it, Ashley Madison is a website designed explicitly for finding an affair and cheating partners in your local area.  It prides itself on being the “world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”  A few days ago, the website was hacked by a group threatening to release all customer names, addresses, and credit card transactions if the site is not shut down.  Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media (ALM), has since hired an IT security team to work on the breach.

Infidelity Image Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Alimony AttorneyThe hackers are calling themselves the “Impact Team,” and they appear to be upset about Ashley Madison’s “full delete” service.  For a $19 fee, Ashley Madison promises to remove a customer’s site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site.  According to the hackers, ALM has been profiting from this service without actually deleting the information.  The hackers are now in possession of it, and if Ashley Madison is not shut down, they are threatening to slowly release that data over time and make “over 37 million members have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people.”

CNN writer Emily Jane Fox published an article explaining how the hack could be “Christmas in July” for divorce lawyers if the hackers do in fact release the names of Ashley Madison’s customers.  The release could trigger a flood of divorces filed by individuals dealing with the personal and public humiliation of having a spouse on the list.  While Ms. Fox is likely correct in her prediction of a swell in divorce filings due to revealed infidelity, experience has shown that couples handle infidelity revelations in a variety of ways.  For some, divorce is seen as the only option in response to an affair, but for others, and likely a surprise to the people experiencing this situation, they will pursue other options to save the marriage such as religious guidance, marriage counseling, denial, or a host of other responses that a person might prefer to the drastic life changing event that divorce can be.

The Ashley Madison hack should not be viewed as a “Christmas in July” for family law attorneys.  Filing for divorce should be considered a last resort after all reconciliation efforts have been exhausted.  Try to open the lines of communication with your spouse to identify issues that are causing you both to grow apart.  If that does not work, many people move on to seek professional help from a marriage counselor who can attempt to foster healthy and productive communication.  Once reconciliation efforts have been exhausted, and it becomes clear that the marriage cannot work, then consulting with a local divorce attorney might be the most logical course of action.

If the “Impact Team” releases the names and addresses of Ashley Madison’s 37 million customers, Charlotte area residents will undoubtedly be exposed.  As we have discussed in a previous blog: in a 2014 news release, Ashley Madison purposefully revealed that over 65,000 members come from the Charlotte metropolitan area, with the Huntersville area having the highest concentration of subscribers.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.



About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.






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“A Buzzi Der fliehende Liebhaber” by A. Buzzi – [1]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –



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


New York real-estate investor Robert Rothenberg has threatened to sue his 35-year-old former lover—the Israeli singer and actress Ayelet Argaman—accusing Argaman of swindling him out of lavish gifts made in contemplation of marriage. Really, Rothenberg says, Argaman was leading him on and using him for his money.

Trump tower Charlotte heart-balm Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyArgaman—who has appeared in minor roles in television series including The Sopranos and Law & Order—said she and Rothenberg began dating in September 2013. Rothenberg—20 years Argaman’s senior—lavished his young lover with $1.3 million in gifts, including a $100,000 per-month stipend for expenses.

Rothenberg forwarded Argaman emails from Rabbis praising him for being a “charitable religious man.” He also promised he would use his connections to get Argaman’s album produced. Argaman disclosed messages detailing Rothenberg’s efforts at wooing her. While he acknowledged that Argaman probable wanted “a younger version of himself,” he posited that “God works in ways we don’t understand” and that Argaman’s “softness, depth and soul” intrigued him.

Rothenberg stepped up the wooing this past spring, purchasing a $1.4 million one-bedroom apartment in Trump Palace on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for Argaman. He later signed an agreement granting Argaman a 60-percent share in the holding company that owns the apartment. Under the agreement, Argaman would have the option to buy out Rothenberg’s 40-percent share if their relationship did not last until May 2015.

It didn’t, and now Rothenberg wants the apartment back.

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


Reality television star Kendra Wilkinson has met several times with Hollywood divorce lawyers, People Magazine reports. Wilkinson has said there is no chance she will reconcile with husband and former National Football League player Hank Baskett. Wilkinson and Baskett have two children—a four-year-old son and a daughter born in June.

Hugh and Kendra Charlotte Adultery Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyWilkinson is a former Playboy model who first garnered notoriety when she was featured as one of several girlfriends of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner in the reality television show “The Girls Next Door.” The show aired from 2005 to 2009. Wilkinson ended her relationship with Hefner in 2008 and married Baskett the following year. Their relationship has been chronicled in another reality show, “Kendra on Top.” The couple is still living under the same roof, so that WE network cameras can keep rolling as their relationship unravels.

The unraveling began in June when a transsexual model named Ava Sabrina London told the National Enquirer that she engaged in two sexual encounters with Baskett. London alleged that she and Baskett exchanged information on YouTube and eventually met for sexual encounters “that never culminated in actual sex” but which she said left Baskett “very satisfied.” London passed a polygraph test administered by the National Enquirer, and RadarOnline has alleged that it obtained video surveillance that shows a truck matching Baskett’s arriving at London’s Los Angeles condo.

London said Baskett paid her to keep quiet about the encounters. Baskett has denied being involved with London.

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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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