How to get a divorce based on your partners adultery

By September 11, 2017
couples arguing over adultery

So, your partner has committed adultery and you seek a divorce, but where do you start in the minefield that is divorce?

What is Adultery?

Firstly, we will start with a definition for Adultery in divorce, which is as follows;

Adultery in divorce is when your husband or wife has had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex.

The Current Law On Adultery

The divorce law in England and Wales only recognises the act of adultery when sexual intercourse has taken place between a man and a woman.

You can’t give adultery as a reason for divorce if you have lived together as a couple for 6 months after the moment you found out about the adultery taking place.

If you have continued to live together for a period of 6 months after finding out about the adultery taking place, then it’s deemed that you haven’t found it intolerable and therefore cannot be used a ground for your divorce.

Adultery, along with unreasonable behaviour provides couples with the opportunity to obtain a quick divorce because unlike all other grounds such as desertion,  2 years separation with consent and 5 years separation without consent, you are required to wait between 2 and 5 years to file for divorce.

What is not considered to be adultery in a divorce?

Adultery in a divorce case does not include kissing, heavy petting, webcam, virtual sex, sexting or any other kind of sexual contact.

To use adultery as the reason for your divorce,  sexual intercourse must have taken place between your husband or wife with a person of the opposite sex.

Civil partners and same-sex marriages cannot be dissolved using adultery as the reason for divorce.

Proving Adultery has taken place

If you think about it, proving that your partner has had sexual intercourse with someone else is very hard unless they admit it to you personally.

How can a person actually prove that their spouse has physically penetrated another person without actually being there in person or getting evidence from someone else who also witnessed it?

If your spouse is willing to admit the adultery, then using this as your reason for divorce will typically be a quicker option than most other grounds for divorce as it does not require any discretion on behalf of the judge dealing with your divorce.

If your spouse is not prepared to admit to the adultery taking place, you can still use the fact that your spouse has committed adultery to divorce them, but you would need to use unreasonable behaviour as your ground for divorce.

Who can file for divorce using adultery?

It’s important to know, you cannot petition for divorce on the grounds of your own adultery. If you are the one who has committed adultery your spouse will have to be the petitioner and file the divorce petition.

If you, the one who committed adultery, wants to initiate the divorce then you will have to look at another grounds for divorce.

Naming The Co-Respondent

When filing for divorce using adultery you are given the option to name the person your spouse committed adultery with on the divorce petition.

Although it’s tempting to name the person in question, it’s likely to do more harm than good. It may push your spouse to object to the divorce or put the proceedings on hold.

We will always advise our clients to leave the co-respondent un-named, naming them will not benefit anyone and it will not influence the court’s decision in regards to the financial settlement.

If you are struggling with your spouse’s adultery a counsellor can help you process the emotions that come with betrayal.

Financial Implications of Adultery UK

Many believe that theirs or their spouse’s behaviour such as Adultery is taken into consideration in financial settlements.

However, the grounds for divorce are very rarely, if ever, taken into consideration.

The financial settlement is based on the criteria within the Matrimonial Clause Act and includes criteria such as the needs, earning capability and financial resources.

Therefore, there are no financial implicates for the party that committed the adultery as the grounds for divorce don’t affect the financial settlement.


If your spouse is willing to admit to committing adultery, then we can help you obtain a quicker, easier and cheaper divorce compared to what you could receive from a solicitor.

We provide many quick and easy online divorce services from just £59 for a DIY Divorce to £169 for a Managed Divorce where our case managers would manage your entire divorce.

If your spouse is not willing to admit to committing adultery and you still wish to file for divorce than we can help you file for divorce using unreasonable behaviour as your ground for divorce.

Simply call our team of divorce experts on 01793 384 032 for information and advice on filing for divorce using adultery or indeed unreasonable behaviour.

If you would prefer, you can email us today and receive a detailed reply from one of our divorce experts.

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Our Managed divorce service is suitable for those who are looking to divorce on the grounds of adultery. We will manage your divorce from start to finish and keep you up to date throughout.

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