Ashley Madison Data Leak Could Widen Cracks In Relationships

Divorce Lawyers Say Apparent Data Leak May Force Some Difficult Discussions For Couples

19.08.2015

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Specialist family lawyers say the apparent data leak of dating website Ashley Madison’s customers could erode the trust in relationships and lead to separation or divorce.

Hackers say they have published a data file for download which contains the customer details of Ashley Madison which is a website which aims to facilitate affairs for married people.

The company behind Ashley Madison has questioned whether the data is real but expert divorce lawyers say it is bound to spark suspicion between spouses who sense there are cracks building in their relationship.

Elizabeth Hicks, a Partner and specialist divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“With 1.2m Britons apparently affected by the data leak, 95% of whom are reportedly male, there will no doubt be a few nervous husbands sat round the dinner table tonight.

“While being on the list is obviously not proof of an affair, it is likely to erode the trust in the relationship. Many people are often ‘caught out’ chatting to other partners via social media and this is essentially an extension of that.

“For people who are already sensing cracks building in their relationship this could prove to be the final straw and force couples to have a difficult conversation that they may have been putting off for a while. Often it is the simple fact that their partner is thinking about an affair, not that they have had an actual affair, that worries partners most. Once a relationship has got to this stage it can be difficult to regain the trust. An emotional attachment to someone, as opposed to a physical attachment such as a one night stand, can be harder to forgive.

“While hopefully many couples will be able to resolve their issues either themselves or with expert marriage counselling, some relationships may not survive. It is then crucial that parents think of any children affected during any separation or divorce as research shows that a nasty split can have an adverse effect on children in the longer term.

“There are organisations that can help families who find themselves in this situation and at Irwin Mitchell we are proud to sponsor the Kids in the middle charity which supports children whose parents are going through a divorce or separation.”
Elizabeth Hicks, Partner

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Divorce and Family Law.