Is Looking at Pornography Cheating?

Is watching pornography grounds for adultery in a South Carolina divorce case? Under South Carolina law, the answer to that question is: “No.”

To get a divorce on the basis of adultery in South Carolina, you must prove more than you caught your spouse watching porn or visiting an adult dating app. Virtual cheating is not enough to get a divorce because of adultery. You must also prove that there was in-person interaction between your spouse and another person.

Catching your spouse visiting porn websites can be very hurtful. As the author of an article in Psychology Today wrote “watching porn is infidelity” for many people. Many wives feel – for good reasons – that a porn addiction is an irreparable breach of the marital vows. In those marriages, trust can never be restored.

Requirements for Getting a South Carolina Divorce on the Basis of Adultery

To get a divorce on the basis of adultery in South Carolina, you must prove that your cheating spouse:

  1. Wanted to cheat– which is called the “inclination” to cheat under South Carolina divorce law; and
  2. Could have cheated– which is called the “opportunity” to commit adultery.

While watching pornography or using an adult dating app might be proof of an “inclination” to commit adultery, it could also be proof of behavior that is unrelated to adultery. For example, watching porn might be evidence of someone mentally engaging in a sexual fantasy, trying to learn more about sex, having low self-esteem, or many other things. Consequently, to get a divorce, the South Carolina adultery law requires more than evidence that a person watched porn or visited an adult dating site.

The innocent spouse must also prove that the unfaithful spouse acted on his or her “inclination” to cheat. The “opportunity” to cheat typically arises where something romantic or sexual happened in person between the unfaithful spouse and another person.

You can prove that your spouse had the “opportunity” to cheat through: (a) the testimony of someone (usually, a private investigator) who saw the adultery occurring, (b) the testimony of the other party that the adultery occurred, or (c) other evidence that a romantic or sexual act occurred between the unfaithful spouse and another person.

Many people use private investigators to prove that their spouse is cheating. If you would like to know more about hiring a private investigator, please call me. I will be glad to give you the names of some private investigators. As an experienced Charleston divorce lawyer, I can also provide you with more information about proving adultery for a fault-based divorce.

Recommendations For Additional Reading

When is The Right Time To Get Divorced?

How Adultery Affects A Charleston Divorce

Social Media & Divorce

9 Questions to Ask Before Getting Divorced