You can use this reason for divorce if your husband or wife had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex. The law recognises the act of adultery as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.
You can’t give adultery as a reason if you lived together as a couple for 6 months after you found out about it.
You can name the other person (who your spouse cheated with) in the court paperwork, but we strongly advise against this. Naming a co-respondent can not only make your relationship with your spouse more acrimonious. This can also lead to delays later on in the proceedings. This because the co-respondent also has to sign the papers admitting the adultery. They will also see a copy of all your financial paperwork too.
Importantly, you cannot petition for divorce on the grounds of your own adultery. Your spouse could divorce you on these grounds or you will need to use one of the other grounds – most commonly unreasonable behaviour.
Proof of Adultery
Proving adultery is very hard to do unless your spouse admits to it. Having text messages, hotel room receipts or witnesses make it easier but may cause further tension between you. If your spouse refuses to admit to it, then unreasonable behaviour could be a better route. Using the fact of “Inappropriate relationship with another person” of Unreasonable Behaviour is easier.
Another myth is that by admitting adultery, it will somehow have an effect on any children or financial proceedings.
The courts will not take the behaviour of either party into account unless it is relevant to the case, for example, if the co-respondent is unsuitable to be around children.
Using adultery may slightly quicken the process, as there are no grounds to be challenged. The judge can make a decision quicker if it is clear-cut. But the turn-around time will be very slight.
Contact Divorce Negotiator if you would like advice on using adultery as a reason for divorce.