When news reports began filtering in a couple of months ago about the hack on a website known as Ashley Madison, most people had no idea what the fuss was about. After all, to most people, the name Ashley Madison meant nothing if anything. It wasn't until learning the purpose of the site that people began to realize the true impact the hack would have.
That's because the site, as reports indicated, is a dating website for married people. In essence, it facilitates cheating in a highly secretive and tech-savvy way. Because of the hack, the names and email addresses of hundreds of thousands of site users were released, giving unsuspecting spouses a surprise they may not have wanted.
The aftermath of the hack can be best exemplified by a recent CNN Money article in which the stories of three women were showcased. For two of the women, the information revealed in the hack devastated their marriages. In one case, it can be assumed that the spouse will use the information released from the hack to show her husband committed adultery, thereby giving her grounds for divorce.
As we explained in a May post, couples in Maryland do need to establish grounds for divorce in order to begin the dissolution of marriage process right away. Otherwise, a couple with no grounds for divorce needs to adhere to the 12-month separation requirement before divorce proceedings can begin.
Because of the Ashley Madison hack though, some in Maryland would now have the evidence they need to establish grounds for divorce. By submitting the evidence they find on the site to a family law judge in our state, a couple might be allowed to forgo the required separation period and move straight into dissolution of marriage proceedings.
Whether this ends up being the case for any of our Columbia readers remains to be seen though.