By: LISA R. WILSON

A British wife is divorcing her husband after discovering his online avatar was having sex with virtual women in the fantasy world of Second Life, media reported Friday. Second Life allows players to create online lives in which their virtual alter ego, or avatar, can set up businesses, buy property, socialize, and develop relationships in an online virtual world. The couple themselves met in an online chat-room in 2003 and wed in real life and in a fantasy tropical setting in Second Life.

Amy Taylor, 28, said her three-year marriage to David Pollard, 40, came to an end when she caught his online avatar, named Dave Barmy, having sex with other Second Life virtual women.

"He confessed he'd been talking to this woman player in America for one or two weeks and said our marriage was over and he didn't love me any more," said Taylor, who filed for divorce the next day. "My lawyer wasn't at all surprised — she said it was her second divorce case involving Second Life that week."

Infidelity is loosely defined as any violation of the boundaries or mutually-abiding rules of an intimate relationship, such as the relationship between a husband and wife. What constitutes an act of infidelity varies and depends on the type of relationship that exists between the couple; e.g. a monogamous relationship versus an “open” relationship where sexual or intimate activities with others outside of the relationship is accepted. However, even within an open relationship, infidelity can occur if one partner acts outside of the permitted boundaries of the relationship.

Infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce. Traditionally, infidelity based on a sexual act has been of a physical one, but with online virtual relationships now coming in to play, virtual infidelity charges may be on the rise. For more information about infidelity or divorce, visit LawInfo’s legal resource center or contact a Family Law attorney in your area today.

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