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French divorce judge rules that Internet flirting is infidelity

A long time ago, married people who wanted to divorce had to provide the court with a cause, such as infidelity. Today, no-fault divorce is the law in Minnesota. This means that you may file for divorce simply because you no longer wish to be married to your husband or wife.

However, in other countries, the old-fashioned standard of divorce with cause still exists. In one of those countries, an important new court ruling expands the definition of infidelity to include online-only affairs. This could make divorce easier in France, where the case comes from.

A 43-year-old man asked the court there to grant him a divorce from his wife after 18 years together. Though both parties agreed that the wife never had a physical relationship outside of the marriage, the husband claimed that the wife had started visiting a Belgian website, where she flirted online with men.

Though her online activities never led to sex, the judge ruled at a recent hearing that it was grounds for divorce. The husband’s attorney said that the judge ruled that “the act of seeking an extra-marital relationship” was enough to grant a dissolution of the couple’s marriage.

It is no longer necessary to present a reason to divorce in Minnesota. But the process may still be complex, depending on the size of the couple’s marital property, and whether there are children involved. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can help you reach a fair settlement, or defend your rights in court, if necessary.

Source: New York Daily News, “French judge rules that online flirtation is grounds for divorce,” Lee Moran, May 12, 2014

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