Sexting -- using your phone to send sexually explicit text messages -- is much in the news lately, most vividly in the case of Anthony Weiner, a mayoral candidate in New York City. Weiner, of course, has been outed more than a few times now as a serial sexter. He did it so often, in fact, that the entire sordid affair now has its own Wikipedia page.
Unfortunately, his lovely wife, Huma Abedin (an aide to Hilary Clinton) was not the recipient of any of these messages. So far, Ms. Abedin seems to be "standing by her man" but the developing story raises an interesting question: What if she weren't?
In other words, could Weiner's sext messages be used against him in a divorce proceeding?
The answer is "probably, depending on your state." I'm not well-versed in the finer points of New York law, so let's keep this on the general side.
If the divorce action is being pursued on specific grounds, as opposed to a no-fault divorce (available in many states, usually conditioned on the parties having lived separate and apart for some length of time), then the question of inappropriate communications of a sexual nature could be relevant to certain issues in that divorce.
Is sexting adultery, though? Not under the law, which usually requires a physical sexual relationship.
I found this article on Divorce Help 360 rather interesting:
In certain scenarios, sexting isn’t a bad thing. It’s gotten a terrible reputation because the media focuses solely on instances of cheating and unsolicited advances, however many experts say that sexting can be a healthy element of adult intimacy. Married couples that are stuck in a rut now have the opportunity to express themselves in ways that they would normally be too shy or embarrassed to. Spouses can use sexting as a form of foreplay, sending naughty photos and sensual text messages to each other, playfully spicing up their intimacy. Couples in long-distance relationships can create a sense of physical closeness when they are in reality hundreds of miles apart.
Let's not kid ourselves, though. Sexting between married or committed couples is not remotely the issue. The issue is when it takes place between adulterous partners.
And the problem is that it always seems to "get out" - to be brought out into the light of day, even if you aren't running for mayor of a large metropolitan area.
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