Adultery…What Are the Grounds for Divorce?

According to the English Law, courts can only grant a divorce, on the grounds of adultery, if it is committed by your spouse with a member of the opposite sex.

For example, if your wife leaves you for another woman, you are not able to use this fact of her adultery to Petition to the court for divorce. Unfortunately, same-sex couples cannot cite adultery when separating and there may be some degree of sympathy from the courts. It’s important to note that English law only recognises adultery to be between a man and a woman.

If such a circumstance should arise, you would have to raise a petition based on your spouse’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’. This means forming several allegations to show that you cannot reasonably be expected to live together.

On the other hand, if your spouse has committed adultery, you would need to prove this in a confession statement from your spouse in order to be able to petition for a divorce. If, however, you are unable to prove the adultery, you would need to petition based on your spouse’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

If you feel you are in one of these situations, contact matrimonial@sethi.co.uk or shreeti@sethi.co.uk to discuss your matrimonial position.


 Shreeti Rajdev – Solicitor /Partner
T: (0)20 8866 6464
E: shreeti@sethi.co.uk

The Sethi Partnership Solicitors I The Barn House I 38 Meadow Way I Eastcote I Ruislip I Middlesex I HA4 8TB

“This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.”