Adultery and divorce

 

Adultery is defined under UK family law as one party to a marriage having sexual relations outside of the marriage with another person of the opposite sex.

If you want to get a divorce on grounds of adultery, a specialist family law solicitor will help you file the application and ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Is adultery a ground for divorce in the UK?

In cases of divorce, adultery is one of the five main grounds by which a petition may be filed in England and Wales. A divorce can be granted if it can be shown that one party to a marriage has committed adultery.

Interestingly, adultery is counted as an affair with a person of the opposite sex. However, having an affair with a person of the same sex is counted as ‘unreasonable behaviour’, which is another of the five grounds for divorce.

Can either party use adultery as grounds for divorce?

Adultery is only available as a ground for divorce to the innocent party, meaning the person who did not have the affair.

How do you get a divorce based on adultery?

A petition for divorce must be brought within six months of the innocent party finding out that the adultery has been committed.

In applying for a divorce, the innocent spouse should gather evidence on the alleged affair. The evidence would be required by the court to prove the affair occurred. This may include things like:

  • Dates
  • Times
  • Places

It is important to note that the 'co-respondent' (the person with whom the adulterous affair took place) does not have to be named in a petition for divorce. By doing this you would bring the co-respondent into the divorce proceedings and it is unlikely that co-respondent would co-operate with your divorce petition.

Do you need a solicitor?

If you are thinking about divorcing your partner on the grounds of adultery then you should first discuss your case with a solicitor specialising in divorce.

Adultery can be a more complex claim to make than other grounds for divorce, and your spouse may be more likely to contest it. A divorce solicitor will be able to talk you through the process of making an adultery-based divorce and the time limits you have to petition for that divorce.

Can your dispute be resolved through mediation? Look at our page on family law mediation for answers.

Do you need help filing your grounds for divorce? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist family law solicitor to help you through the process. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form and we'll call you back.

Call
0800 1777 162
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Area of law:
Name:
Town/City:
Email:
Phone:
What our clients say about us
"Your service, and the prompt call back from your recommended firm was very good. I would not hesitate to call again or recommend your service."
Ian, employment law, Truro, July 15
"The firm were excellent, could not have been better! They are exactly what I need right now."
Linda, criminal defence, Thames Ditton, Jul 15
"Your contact and service was immediate and utmost professional, 10/10."
TF, conveyancing, Dudley, Jun 15
"I appreciate the service that you provide. I found you to be courteous, efficient and reassuring at a time when my confidence in justice is completely negative."
Patrick, litigation, Pontypridd, Jun 15
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the speed of which you came back to me in. If anyone else can benefit from your help like I have done, it would make my day."
Gail M, family law, Potters Bar, Jun 15
"Your assistance was extremely helpful. Particularly to someone who in 40 years of business has never experienced this sort of issue."
TD, commercial litigation, Galashiels, Apr 15
"It is difficult to express the value Contact Law has to someone like me who had very little understanding of the law and how to proceed forward with my case. Thank you for the service you provided."
AE, defamation law, Worthing, Apr 15
"Thank you for the efficient service I received. I was contacted by your solicitor on the same day as my request. Your quick response to my situation made me feel secure."
AN, employment law, London, Apr 15
"Your service was excellent, very fast and informative. I never got the impression of being pressurised at all. The solicitor you recommended was also excellent – very knowledgeable and supportive."
JHD, Motoring law, Liverpool, Apr 15
"We will be changing our solicitor to the one you recommended. Your service is brilliant, I am only sorry we did not use you previously. Thank you again!"
KB, property law, Mar 15

We use cookies on the Contact Law site to help us improve it.

If you would like to allow our cookies, please click 'Continue' or carry on browsing. For more information on cookies and how to change your settings, click 'More info'.