Divorce can be a difficult process anyway but is even tougher on you when your spouse has committed adultery.
Divorce and finances are two separate matters, but a common misconception is that when your spouse commits adultery this may mean that you are entitled to a larger sum in the settlement, unfortunately this is not the case.
What is adultery?
Adultery, under UK Law, means your spouse is having or has had sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex and that the other spouse cannot continue to live with them. It does not count for adultery in divorce terms if your partner has had an affair with someone of the same sex.
Same-sex couples are currently unable to use adultery as a reason for the dissolution due to the UK Law.
You cannot use adultery as ground for divorce if you (the person filing) has committed adultery yourself, you should also file for divorce within 6 months of finding out about the adultery. You can ONLY file on adultery if your partner has actually had sexual intercourse with another person. The courts do not constitute kissing, heavy petting, texting/sexting webcam, or virtual sex, etc. as grounds for adultery, however we are aware that these are all completely valid factors in the breakdown of a marriage so could be included in the examples when filing for divorce on unreasonable behaviour.
Adultery can be hard to prove or get your spouse to agree to on the divorce papers so unreasonable behaviour with the affair mentioned is often a popular solution to this.
It is really important to check with your spouse before you file on the grounds of adultery that they are definitely going to agree to this, this is in order to keep divorce matters as simple as possible for you, it is good to get evidence of them agreeing to this as back up but if you cannot get them to agree to adultery, go for unreasonable behaviour.
How can I prove Adultery?
If your spouse will not admit to the adultery but all evidence points to the likelihood that they have committed it, it can complicate things.
Unless your spouse will admit to it, filing on Adultery is not quite so simple. As mentioned before, in this situation it is best to file on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour but mention the adultery in the examples, you will also need to provide 2-3 other examples, please see our blog on this for more info. If you file on unreasonable behaviour, there are alternative methods to complete the divorce that mean that your spouse does not have to sign and agree to the divorce.
Why do I only have 6 months to file on adultery?
The time limits in Adultery mean you only have 6 months to file from finding out about the divorce, if you file after the 6 months, the courts will not accept this as they will consider that you have ‘condoned’ the adultery.
This also means that the petitioner and respondent should not live together during these 6 months. The adulterer’s actions have led the petitioner to not be able to live with them and this means the 6 months can be used as a time of reflection and also as an opportunity for possible reconciliation.
Naming the co-respondent in the divorce?
When filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery, you have the option to name the co-respondent in the proceedings (this is the person your spouse had an affair with). This is usually advised against by legal representatives and rather that the co-respondent remain unnamed on the basis that it can largely and unnecessarily complicate and elongate matters.
It does not make much difference to the divorce itself as to whether they are named or not but at The Divorce Manager we like to keep it as simple and easy for you as possible to often times we will advise against this.
Do I get more money because my spouse cheated?
This is a common misconception that is untrue. It will also make no difference to child arrangements if that is applicable to you.
Although difficult, it is very important to try and keep the divorce and financial proceedings separate. Legally, these are two separate matters with no correlation, but we know it can be difficult when feelings and emotions are in play, as they often are in this kind of situation.
When deciding or agreeing how to split the finances, the judge will, and you should look at what is fair in regard to income, length of marriage children etc as this is what will influence the outcome. This document is a legally binding one so will ensure that all is carried out appropriately, accordingly, and most importantly fairly. The judge will take into account all financial aspects of the marriage including pensions, properties, savings, inheritance etc so nothing is missed out.
Deciding how to file for divorce is a difficult decision so it is good if you can seek any advice at all from professionals who can help make this decision with you.
Call us today for advice on 0800 294 0452