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29 September 2005
BRUSSELS – Virtual sex or erotic chats on the internet are grounds for divorce, Belgium's top judges have ruled.
The Flemish legal review De Juristenkrant reported that Brussels' Court of Appeal had accepted printouts of a sexy conversation in a chat room as evidence in an adultery trial.
The court ruled that fragments of erotic chats on the internet were, alone, insufficient to prove a partner had cheated on his or her spouse.
However, the judges found that they could constitute grounds for divorce. They showed a husband or wife was behaving in a way that was not compatible with the respect they owed their spouse.
The ruling means that printouts of chats, as well as dirty emails, will increasingly be produced in divorce cases.
The judges have also concluded that laws protecting an individual's privacy and correspondence cannot be used by cheating men and women to prevent chats or emails going before a court.
Rights to privacy could sometimes conflict with other rights, ruled the court, meaning husbands and wives can print off illicit emails and chats, as long as they don't use illegal methods of obtaining the evidence.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news
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