Is the poor economy causing more people to explore online infidelity?

These days, it seems that stories about thriving businesses are relatively few and far between. In fact, for the last several years, stories about unemployment, foreclosure and tumbling stocks have dominated most headlines. As it turns out, however, there is actually one business that is not only succeeding, but flourishing in this uncertain economic climate. However, its services will cost you money and potentially lead to a divorce.

According to a recent report in the USA Today, websites offering to facilitate extramarital affairs for married persons have exploded during the recession and are continuing to reap substantial profits.

“We’re not a recession-proof business, we’re a recession-growth business,” said Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison, a website offering a “married dating service for discreet encounters.”

According to Biderman, the majority of people utilizing the site’s services are those whose marriages are effectively over but who want to wait for economic conditions to improve before officially dissolving their marriage.

“People were basically confessing in their profile that ‘the marriage is really over – we’re just waiting for the market to recover,'” he said.

Biderman’s site – and others – essentially operate on a pay-as-you-go format, meaning $49 will buy 100 credits that permit you to chat with other members. Eventually you can share information and photos with someone else and even facilitate a meeting – presumably for more money. (The websites will permanently delete all correspondence from both sides of the conversation.)

Interestingly, the growth in business for many of these sites can be tied directly to the performance of the U.S. economy. In addition, many of these websites have now expanded their operations to financially troubled European countries.

What do you make of these websites, should the organizers be applauded for their ingenuity or should they be condemned for ruining marriages? Does it make any difference if a marriage was going to end in divorce anyhow?

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about dissolution of marriage, child custody/visitation or child support, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or financial advice.

Related Resources:

USA Today “Bad economy? A good time for a steamy affair” Sept. 10, 2011