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Family Law solicitor Kirsten Grotte discusses Divorce on the grounds of Adultery

It has recently been reported in the Daily Mail online that comedian and married father of three, Jason Manford has been caught out again, allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to another woman.

When dealing with clients who are suffering from Marriage Breakdown where they suspect their other half has been having an affair or has formed an inappropriate relationship with another, they mention that they have found explicit text messages or emails that have led them to this conclusion. As Family Solicitors, it is our job to determine the reasons that led to the breakdown in the marriage so we can advise clients as to what would be the best fact to rely on to prove irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which is what the court depend on when granting a divorce.

In this case, evidence of inappropriate behaviour referred to in text messages or emails would not be enough to issue a Divorce petition on the basis of adultery. The person who is being alleged as committing adultery would have to admit to it and sign a confession statement, otherwise if this fact is pursued, substantial evidence will need to be produced to prove adultery has been committed.

This can lead to lengthy and expensive proceedings, which can only add fuel to the fire in what could already be an inflammatory situation. It would not be necessary to take this course of action as you could issue on the ground of unreasonable behaviour instead. Within the divorce petition, you can refer to the inappropriate conduct of your other half without needed to provide any evidence. You also do not need the consent of your ex-spouse for this petition to be accepted by the court.

If you need any further advice in relation to the grounds for divorce then feel free to contact one of our legal advisers at Slater and Gordon (UK) on 0808 175 8000.