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Revenge porn bill could affect Arkansas divorce cases

Technology has provided Pulaski County residents with a lot of benefits, but there is a downside to instant communication and easy photo uploading. Angry ex-spouses and former partners are taking to the Internet in droves for revenge. Laws in many states, including Arkansas, do not protect individuals from this form of privacy invasion.

That may soon change. An Arkansas bill is under revision that soon might make it a crime for someone to distribute sexually-explicit images of an ex online. Voyeurism laws don't quite cover what's commonly called "revenge porn," since most images – at least initially -- were acquired with consent.

The results of a 2013 survey, reported by The American Psychological Association, stated about one in 10 ex-spouses or partners have threatened revenge porn. Approximately 60 percent of the threats were made good. A state law outlawing revenge porn has the support of the Arkansas Bar Association.

Some terms within the Arkansas revenge porn bill, written by Senator Bart Hestor, are being redefined to satisfy attorneys dissatisfied with the original proposal's wording. It may take several weeks before the rewritten version is introduced to state lawmakers.

Spouses currently embroiled in contentious divorces don't have specific legal protection against revenge porn. Some spouses are using sexually-explicit photos of an ex as a bargaining chip to sway child custody and property division issues in divorce settlements. Unfair as using such devious tactics seems, the practice is legal, at least for now.

Divorce attorneys help clients reach a fair settlement when a marriage ends. Divorce doesn't have to be a contest with a declared winner. Going into a divorce with claws out may bring a temporary victory, but it can be harmful to post-marital life for co-parenting ex-spouses and their children.

Hurt is one of many negative feelings common during divorce. The emotional pain usually subsides long before divorce agreements have run their course.

Source: KATV, "Senator hopes to outlaw "Revenge Porn" in Arkansas" Janelle Lilley, Feb. 04, 2015

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