What is internet infidelity, and how does it impact marriages?

| Dec 30, 2020 | Divorce |

The internet and social media have made it as easy as tapping a screen a few times to stay in contact with old friends and new acquaintances alike. It can be wonderful to see updates about the growing family of your roommate from college or pictures from your cousin’s birthday party that you couldn’t attend because they live in another state.

Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to the ability to track people down quickly and almost unanimously. It has never been easier for partners to initiate or rekindle extramarital affairs than it is now with the help of social media. Internet infidelity can take many forms, all of which could negatively impact a marriage or even hurt someone during a divorce.

What does internet infidelity look like?

For most people, internet infidelity starts small, possibly without any kind of malicious intentions. An old friend tags someone in a photo, and soon enough, their ex-girlfriend sends a friend request. The two of them start exchanging polite messages catching up about life.

However, before they know it, they’re having emotional and intense conversations and maybe even looking forward to those interactions more than the time they spend with their spouse. While they may not have committed physical adultery, they may have begun an emotional affair.

If one spouse hides a relationship from the other, that can damage the foundation of trust for their marriage and possibly lead to bigger issues, even without physical infidelity.

Internet infidelity can definitely affect your divorce

Even if you use private messages or social media systems that automatically delete your pictures and messages after a set amount of time, there could be a digital trail of evidence for every inappropriate conversation you had.

If you have a prenuptial agreement, an online relationship may trigger any infidelity clauses that you agreed to before you got married. Even if you don’t have a prenup, internet infidelity could be the reason that you or your spouse choose to file for divorce.

Cheating usually won’t impact a divorce very much in Colorado, as the courts don’t consider marital misconduct when ruling on major issues. However, statements about marital infidelity and other issues can become part of the public record if they are made in court during the divorce. Discussing your marital issues before you move forward with a filing can give you a better idea of how best to protect yourself.

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