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Adultery Divorce Help

Posted by Green37 
Adultery Divorce Help
September 12, 2021 07:30PM
My wife and I have been married since July 2018, and have now been separated (living apart) since early Jan this year.

I initiated the break up due to my erratic and manic behaviour caused by undiagnosed (at that point) mental health and she moved out pretty much straight away - we have no assets between us, we were renting the property, she doesn't own and neither do I, no shared bank accounts or debts and no children.

I've dragged my heels on the process of actually applying for the divorce as there's been lots else going on and we were both in no rush. Recently we have both been seeing other people and we have talked about this.

An ex of mine has contacted my wife and told her that we had an affair, which is true - I have admitted this, and now I am going to file for the divorce in the next few days once I receive a replacement marriage certificate.

Given that we share no assets, is there a need to have a solicitor involved in the process? I will pick up the costings of the divorce, however, I am looking for the cheapest way to do this as I have other ongoing costings. I am aware of the £550 fee to file for the divorce on the government website, however don't know if I can navigate this myself easily, or whether I should instruct a solicitor or one of the numerous websites I've seen that will do all the filling of the forms for you. I really don't want to make a misstep in this process and cost myself greatly etc.

Despite the reason for the divorce I have read that the financial outcome would not be affected due to this - what possible financial outcome could happen here? Am I likely to have to pay an ongoing maintenance or similar? I have not agreed to to this, and she did say in a text only 2 weeks ago that she did not want any maintenance or money (don't even know if she would be entitled to it anyway)?

My salary is £50k, and I've a pension of around £20k.

If anyone can help me here it would be greatly appreciated.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2021 08:10AM by Green37.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 13, 2021 11:22AM
1. You cannot petition for divorce based on your own adultery.

2. You do not say whether your wife worked during the marriage or what her earnings are. Although it is unlikely both these could have an impact upon whether you need to pay maintenance for any period.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 13, 2021 12:52PM
Hi David,

Thank you for the advice - so, my wife has to petition for the divorce then?

She did work whilst married and her salary is around £19k a year, with a minimal unknown amount of pension.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 13, 2021 02:20PM
If the ground for divorce is adultery and you are the one who has committed adultery then only your wife can issue a divorce petition based on that ground. You cannot petition for divorce based on your own adultery. Having said that, it is a mistake to think that only your wife can petition for divorce. If a marriage has broken down beyond repair then both spouses can usually petition for divorce and it makes sense for the spouse who most wants a divorce to issue the divorce petition rather than leave it to the other spouse. If you were to petition for divorce then the ground would probably be unreasonable behaviour. That is by far the most common ground for divorce and it is rare that one or both spouses cannot rely upon it.

On the facts you give it is unlikely that you would be liable for spousal maintenance and the most likely outcome is a clean break. Mind you, although you say 'no assets between us' if that means, say, that you have savings of £50K built up during the marriage and your wife has none those savings could well be matrimonial whether they were in your sole name or not.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 13, 2021 03:03PM
Once again, thank you.

I think that if I petition and state unreasonable behaviour then it will only further aggregate a situation that is already not good. We have gone from amicable, to now not so with the recent admission on my behalf. I've ordered a replacement marriage certificate that I will post/scan a copy to her and I'll pay the £550.00 fee that she will have to stump up when she initiates it. I'm not trying to contest the reasons for the divorce, and as such don't want to way unreasonable behaviour for a back and forth game to ensue. She's under the impression that she'll get some kind of maintenance or monetary outcome from me now that's its adultery, and as such if she thinks that then I'll let her carry on down that path and hopefully she'll be disappointed.

As she will now be lodging the petition for the divorce on the grounds of adultery, does she need to name the other person involved? Is that required or needed? I'd rather this person be fully kept out of any future dealings in mine or my wives life as she is only looking to stir up trouble, as she recently did my exposing my wrong doing.

There are no built up savings at all so I am safe in that regard.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 13, 2021 05:37PM
If your wife thinks she will get maintenance from you because you have committed adultery then she will also want maintenance if you petition for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour so it is hard to see what difference that makes. If it is you who wants the divorce it is a mistake to leave it to your wife. If you do you will have next to no control over how long she takes about it.

So far as aggravating the position is concerned you should remember that you are divorcing your wife, not marrying her. I don't have much sympathy for people who hit the roof because they are being petitioned for unreasonable behaviour. It is rarely the case that only one spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage and the other is as pure as driven snow. If the latter has that type of mindset it is pretty good evidence of an unreasonable person in my view.

No, the other woman does not have to be named on the divorce petition but if your wife does name her out of spite then you have only yourself to blame by giving her the opportunity to do it.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 14, 2021 01:51PM
If I file for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, my wife will not accept that as she wants me to suffer (!) for my adultery - she would likely contest the unreasonable behaviour reasons as I would realistically have to make these up. Prior to the admission of adultery, we were going to go with unreasonable behaviour because things just simply hadn't worked out between us.

Regarding the last point, I fully understand that and it's all an absolute mess now.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 14, 2021 02:16PM
See a solicitor and they will be able to suitably word a petition for you, she could contest it, it will cost her but if it is worded properly there is not a lot she can do as long as there is an element of truth in the reasons.

My wife left me for the bloke she had been having an affair with, she divorced me citing my unreasonable behaviour - controlling with money was one reason, because I had told her that we couldn’t have something because there was no money in the pot for it as she was spending it faster than I was earning it. I was angry at the time but then on reflection thought WTF, she wanted a divorce, I didn’t want her anymore so she may as well do all the legwork and pay for the divorce. You never know, your wife might end up thinking the same if you divorce her using unreasonable behaviour.

As David says, if you let her do the petitioning then you are beholden to her timescales, in my case it was not an issue because my ex was desperate to get married again so she rushed it through but if you want to control the timescales then you need to be the one doing the petitioning.
Re: Adultery Divorce Help
September 14, 2021 02:50PM
>>If I file for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, my wife will not accept that as she wants me to suffer (!) for my adultery - she would likely contest the unreasonable behaviour reasons as I would realistically have to make these up.<<

No, you would not have to make anything up (and no-one should). The marriage broke down for a reason and from what you have said of your wife's likely reaction it is obvious that you will have grounds for divorce for unreasonable behaviour. Any competent solicitor will be able to elicit these grounds from you. Provided the details are properly drafted your wife will not be able to do anything about it. It is next to impossible to defend a divorce (unless one doesn't take sufficient care drafting the particulars of unreasonable behaviour).
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