The Guide to Filing a Divorce Petition in the UK on the Grounds of Adultery

The Guide to Filing a Divorce Petition in the UK on the Grounds of Adultery

Divorce can be filed on only one legal ground, that is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage; a point from where there’s no coming back.

The petitioner or the person who initiates the proceedings must prove to the courts that the marriage has ended irrevocably and that a divorce is the sole way out.

They can do that by basing it upon one of the following five factors:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • At least 2 years of separation with mutual consent
  • 5 years of separation (no consent)

The majority of the divorce petitions filed in the UK are on the basis of unreasonable behaviour, however adultery has also become a common reasons for divorces nationwide.

It is often listed as the reason for divorce because, unlike ending the marriage on account of unreasonable behaviour. Adultery offers quick divorce proceedings.

What is Adultery Defined As?

In order for the claim to be considered serious, the alleged act of adultery must adhere to the following definition: a spouse having sexual relations with someone outside the marriage, from the opposite sex.

It is important to note that extramarital sexual relations between members of the same sex are not considered adultery. Divorces for them can instead be filed under the section of “unreasonable behaviour.”


Time Limitations

It should be remembered that there are time limits when it comes to petitioning for divorce on the basis of adultery. A spouse who has learned of their partner’s adultery must file for divorce within six months of becoming aware about the extramarital sexual act.

Know that this is not the same as within six months of the act of adultery taking place, but when the petitioner actually becomes aware of it. Otherwise, if six months have passed, the spouse is believed to have ‘condoned’ the act.

However, the time limit of six months only applies if the spouses continue to live together after the discovery. If they have been separated for those six months after the other spouse has found out, then this limitation does not apply.

The Divorce Proceedings

Although divorce petitions on the basis of adultery are not ‘amicable’ for obvious reasons, they’re often one of the most easiest to get through, because the person who has committed the act of adultery either 1) feels guilty and wants to get it done with, and 2) quickly wants to remarry.

This can lead to a more favourable financial settlement for the “innocent” party, and although it is hardly a consolation for the breakdown of a marriage, the divorce proceedings can be done with relatively quicker.

Need More Advice?  

Lawyers specialized in matters of divorce proceedings would be of great help to get you through the entire process. Whether it is filing the papers with the courts or dealing with the Defendant’s solicitors, the procedure will be much better handled with their help.

If you’re looking for legal services in Wembley, UK, contact professional solicitors such as Wembley Solicitors. Schedule an appointment with their family law solicitor to help you out.

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