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Is naming a co-respondent in a divorce petition bad practice?

By Principal Lawyer, Family Law

The Daily Mail reports today (6th August 2013) that Simon Cowell has been named as the co-respondent in a Divorce petition brought by a husband citing his wife’s adultery.

The wife in this case is Lauren Silverman and the husband is 37 year old Andrew Silverman. It is to be noted that the Silvermans’ divorce is being heard in America.

In England and Wales, anyone issuing a divorce petition citing their ex spouse’s adultery does not need to name the co-respondent. In fact, it is often considered bad practice to do so because it usually only serves to unnecessarily inflame matters. The only reason you would name the co-respondent is if you were seeking the co-respondent to pay your costs for the divorce, and even then you can always seek to reach an agreement with your ex and/or their new partner so that matters can be dealt with privately and in a constructive way, thereby minimising the stress and emotional upset that so often accompanies a Relationship Breakdown.

We can only speculate as to why Mr Silverman decided to name Cowell; maybe he had to, maybe he wanted to cause upset or maybe it was a final act of vengeance. Whatever the reason, it has meant that the divorce is likely to remain in the gossip columns for some time.

By Family Law Solicitor Sarah Thompson.

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