Does adultery affect divorce settlement UK? – Solent Family Mediation

By Solent Family Mediation |
September 2, 2021

What is adultery?

When a married individual has sexual contact with a person of the opposing sex who is not his or her spouse or wife, this is infidelity.

In divorce procedures, having sexual intercourse with someone of the same gender was not considered infidelity under ancient law. If a person in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership has sexual relations with another person of the same gender, they are not regarded to have committed adultery.

Clearly, you may consider your partner unfaithful if he or she has an uncomfortably close emotional relationship with another person. This would not have been considered adultery under British law.

In the past, this distinction was essential since infidelity was a valid reason for divorce. However, since the introduction of no-fault divorce, divorce applicants are no longer obliged to provide a reason or evidence of infidelity. They must instead provide a brief declaration of irreversible failure to indicate that the connection cannot be recovered.

Is infidelity a valid divorce ground?

Under the former divorce rules, infidelity, desertion, unreasonable behaviour, and separation were all grounds for divorce. However, there was only ever one ground for divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Since the implementation of no-fault divorce in April 2022, you are no longer need to specify the reason(s) in your “statement of irretrievable breakdown.”.

What effect does infidelity have on divorce in the United Kingdom?

According to the enquiries we receive, there is a perception that if one spouse has committed adultery, this would have an impact on the divorce outcome, particularly in terms of the financial settlement and child custody arrangements.

Infidelity has little effect on a divorce case, at least from a legal perspective. You cannot use adultery as a basis for divorce, nor can you provide proof of infidelity. In addition, adultery has no consequence on financial settlements and will not be considered when awarding child custody unless it affects the welfare of any children involved.

Who pays for the divorce in cases of infidelity?

Who pays divorce fees and other financial settlement concerns is unaffected by whether or not adultery was committed.

What are the consequences of committing adultery during a divorce?

Only the ‘wronged’ spouse was authorised to utilise adultery as a cause for divorce under previous divorce laws. If you were the victim and wished to use adultery as a defence, you would be required to present proof of infidelity unless your spouse was willing to admit it.

Infidelity, separation, desertion, and unreasonable behaviour are no longer required divorce grounds. The divorce laws were updated in April of 2022 to reflect a more modern outlook.

Under the new law, infidelity has no bearing on the development of a divorce. The only prerequisite for divorce is the irretrievable dissolution of the marriage.

How the court evaluates financial and adulterous matters

In determining a financial settlement between the parties, the court has only one interest: ensuring that family needs are met. This encompasses the needs of both parties, as well as those of any children.

It is commonly questioned if one side can receive more as a result of the other’s negative behaviour. Rarely can it be demonstrated that an ex-actions spouse’s have affected the family’s assets. In one instance, the husband had frittered away the family’s assets, and the court deemed it inappropriate for him to be allowed to recover as much of what was left as he could have if he had acted intelligently.

When non-financial behaviour is provided as reason for a larger share of the assets, attorneys and solicitors employ the “gulp or gasp” test. For the court to consider deviating from the ordinary distribution of assets, the behaviour of the defendant must be exceptionally grave. If the judge does not gasp when hearing the behaviour, it is typically not serious enough; nevertheless, if the judge does gasp, it signals that the behaviour is severe enough.

Extreme examples that have made the judge gag include those where the wife shot her husband with a shotgun, the husband committed incest with family children, and the wife attempted to stab her husband with a knife.

Infidelity is unlikely to be severe enough for the court to change its stance on the split of the money, as indicated by the fact that it would require extremely grave conduct for the court to alter its position. Nonetheless, it is essential that your attorney has all relevant facts. I always believe that it is preferable to have too much information than not enough.

Why us Solent Family Mediation?

Mediation is a method of arranging any distinctions between you and your ex-partner, with the help of a 3rd person who won’t take sides. The third individual is called an arbitrator. They can assist you reach a contract about problems with money, property or kids.

You can attempt mediation before going to a solicitor. They’ll most likely talk to you about whether utilizing mediation initially could help if you go to a lawyer first.

You don’t need to go to mediation, however if you end up needing to go to court to sort out your distinctions, you generally require to prove you have actually been to a mediation info and assessment meeting (MIAM). This is an initial conference to explain what mediation is and how it might help you.

There are some exceptions when you do not need to go to the MIAM before going to court – for instance, if you’ve suffered domestic abuse.

You should call the mediator and describe the scenario if you require to go to court and your ex-partner doesn’t want to see an mediator. You can’t require your ex-partner to go to mediation.

Solent Family Mediation can assist you with your divorce –  0238 161 1051