Katie Price has apparently recently admitted that her and estranged husband, Alex Reid were, until recently, still sleeping together. This is despite Katie dumping Alex in January. Alex is understood to be embarrassed that Katie has admitted to the world the real reason why he was still living at the Former Matrimonial Home; because they were still in a relationship!
People may question whether Katie and Alex can still be divorced if, until recently, they were still living together. Has the ground for divorce been satisfied; has the marriage irretrievably broken down?
In the event that either Katie or Alex were to petition for divorce on the basis of adultery, cohabitation exceeding six months is a total bar. However, when people have lived together for a period or periods not exceeding six months in total, after it became known to the Petitioner that the Respondent had committed adultery; the cohabitation is to be disregarded in determining whether the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent.
Again, if Katie or Alex were to petition for divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour, the fact that they may have lived with each other for a period or periods not exceeding six months in total after the last incident of unreasonable behaviour, is to be disregarded in determining whether the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.
If the Petitioner continues to live with the Respondent for a period or periods exceeding six months in total, the cohabitation will be taken into account in determining whether the Petitioner can reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent. However, cohabitation for more than six months is not an absolute bar in an unreasonable behaviour case; as it is in a case of adultery.
The rational behind the cohabitation rule above is to enable people to become reconciled and to have an opportunity to reflect on the state of their marriage. Does this mean that Katie and Alex may reconcile? I doubt it, but if their relationship has been continuing and they have tried to work things out, it may mean that their divorce and financial settlement will be more amicable.
Georgina Chase is a Family Law & Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. For a free initial consultation to discuss divorce or a cohabitation issue, call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.