Avatars, Scarlet “A”s, and Adultery in the Technological Age

As the law struggles to keep pace with technology, this Article addresses a relatively new and quickly escalating twist on the age-old problem of adultery—namely, online infidelity—and questions whether victim spouses should be allowed to secure a fault-based divorce. The Article surveys the current and predicted future opportunities for online sexual gratification and provides an overview of the history of divorce and adultery and the legal effects of fault-based
divorce. It goes on to examine the current law of adultery and questions whether that law should be expanded to include online infidelity. The Article considers the evolution of marriage and infidelity, acknowledging that infidelity and adultery are not interchangeable terms. Thus, after establishing that online infidelity is infidelity, it considers whether this particular form of infidelity should be equated with adultery. Finally, the Article concludes that the definition of adultery should be extended to capture certain forms of online infidelity and offers a proposal for legislators and decision-makers.

Article | View PDF | Appears in Volume 55, Issue 2

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