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OUR FOUNDING ATTORNEY, RHONDA PATTERSON

Statistics on the prevalence of cheating in the country

According to a study, about 20 percent of men, and a little under 15 percent of all women, admitted to having sex with someone other than their spouse. These statistics do not account for emotional affairs and other behavior short of full-blown sexual intercourse, and it also does not account for those who simply did not report their cheating behavior.

While the study confirms the traditional notion that men are more likely than women to have affairs, an interesting finding is that this gender gap also fluctuates depending on the age of those involved. For instance, the study found younger women, between 18 and 29, are actually slightly more likely than men of the same age to have affairs.

By the time people hit their 50s, however, men are clearly more likely to be cheaters, with almost one in four admitting to cheating. This compares to close to 15 percent of women the same age admitting to an extramarital affair.

What these statistics show, though, is that cheating is a problem that can affect both men and women and can do so at about any age of their lives. Other conclusions in this study suggested that, with some variations, cheating affects people of all types of social standing, race and religious persuasion.

This does not, however, mean that cheating is not something that leaves the loyal spouse emotionally and even financially devastated. For this reason and others, North Carolina allows aggrieved spouses to file what are called heart balm claims.

As this blog has discussed previously, these claims can give a husband or wife some since of justice after they have been the victim of cheating by punishing the third party who interfered with their marriage.