I have found out my partner uses Ashley Madison – can I obtain a divorce?

Rayhana Kausar, Graduate Chartered Legal Executive in Astle Paterson’s Family Department, discusses the potential to obtain a divorce if you find out that your spouse is using Ashley Madison.

Rayhana said, “The online dating service, Ashley Madison, which is marketed to people who are married or are in long term relationships under the strap-line “Life is short.  Have an affair” has recently hit the headlines after hackers stole the details of people who had signed up to the website – including emails, names and addresses – and then released the details on the Web for all to see.

There has, of course, been a lot of fall-out following the release of the data, with husbands and wives finding out that their other half is or was using the site.

However, whilst the natural reaction for the wronged spouse may be to ask for a divorce, could they in fact obtain a divorce based solely on their other half’s membership of Ashley Madison?”

Rayhana continued, “There are only 5 facts on which a spouse can petition for divorce.

Being on a dating website such as Ashley Madison could be enough to get a divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour.

Further, if your spouse admits to adultery then you could base your petition for divorce on that fact – however it would be advisable that you get them to sign a confession statement admitting to the adultery.

That being said, simply finding your partner’s name or email address in the disclosed list would not of itself be enough to petition for divorce based on adultery.

Finally, it is of note that should your spouse prove they are merely innocent victims of theft of their personal information to the Court then a divorce petition based solely on the Ashley Madison saga would fail.”

Please contact either our Family Department on 01283 531366 or by way of email to to discuss matters further.  

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