(Multiple) Affairs of the Heart 

Published on 24 October, 2017 | Abigail Lowther

It is often said that technology is a great facilitator and it is true that the advances of the last three decades have – literally – put rich potential in the palms of our hands.

However, while shopping, working and keeping in touch with friends and family might not necessarily leave those hands idle, some are still finding the time to succumb to more than a little temptation.

As I’ve been telling Olivia Rudgard, the Social Affairs Correspondent of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, myself and my colleagues at Hall Brown Family Law have seen something of a surge in the number of divorces being blamed on multiple infidelities http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/21/divorce-following-multiple-affairs-rise-flirty-texts-catch-adulterers.

In fact, the number of marriages breaking down amid allegations of more than one affair have increased by almost 30 per cent over the last five years.

We’re not just talking about husbands or wives who have been unfaithful twice. On a number of occasions, we have found ourselves dealing with spouses claiming that they had been cheated on more than five times.

It is not just notable in terms of the numbers but because the behaviour is out of kilter with trends in divorce.

Only last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data showing that the number of spouses granted divorce on the grounds of adultery in 2016 was 36 per cent lower than the figure for 2010 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/divorce/bulletins/divorcesinenglandandwales/2016.

That apparent disparity may well be down to the difficulty in pressing ahead with an adultery claim. More than any other claim, the suggestion that someone has been unfaithful is likely to be vigorously contested.

Even gathering the sort of suggestive material which some individuals have been able to harvest from social media, in particular, is insufficient to prove adultery due to the level of often quite intimate detail needed to substantiate the allegation.

Indeed, as many of the media which have reported our latest findings have seized upon, it is the sheer volume of digital evidence of improper relationships inadvertently stored on social media which acts as a common thread in many of the multiple infidelity cases that we’ve seen recently.

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