When it comes to adultery and cybersex, size really does matter, according to Charleston family law attorney Gregory S. Forman, who blogs on such matters on his firm’s website.
Forman recently blogged about sexual indiscretions, real and virtual, under a post with a not-so-family friendly headline that posed this scholarly legal query: “Perhaps he has a 2,000 mile long penis?”
His thesis was that proof of a spouse sending steamy texts or emails to a paramour is not enough, by itself, to constitute adultery under state law, even though it would probably be enough to break up a marriage.
“Would I be upset if my wife was sexting some dude?” Forman said in a phone interview. “Yes, but I don’t think that’s adultery.”
However, if you couple all that sexting with evidence that the spouse had the opportunity to be physically intimate with the paramour, then you have a shot at proving adultery. So a husband in the Palmetto State can have all the phone sex he wants with a mistress in California and that isn’t adultery — unless he’s well-endowed enough to cross state lines without leaving home. Hence the post’s headline.
“The appellate courts have been deliberately reticent to delineate what sort of physical intimacy is required to prove adultery,” Forman said. “But it’s clear if you get to second-base or third-base, to use terms we used in high school, that’s adultery.”
As for Forman, he’s happily married – at least he was before he posted the blog and ignored his wife’s protests to change the title. To his credit, he included a footnote stating that the headline wasn’t wife-approved: “My patient and wonderful wife of almost 23 years would like the world to know that she did not approve the title of this blog,” the footnote said.
“That happens often in my marriage,” he said of his tendency to disobey. “Thankfully, she puts up with it.”
Note to Mrs. Forman: Legal blogs are too often the literary equivalent of Ambien, so it’s refreshing to see an attorney spicing things up. Please don’t make Gregory stay too many nights in the doghouse.