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Adultery and accepting divorce

  • jslgb
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24 May 12 #332803 by jslgb
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Hi All,

I have instructed my solicitor to begin divorce proceedings. After some advice on this forum i was more open to petitioning on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour rather than adultery. My stbxh was having an affair with my daughters nursery nurse 2 months before he left and has admitted this to me in the past as well as the fact i have phone statements to show ridiculous amounts of contact including xmas day. As much as i wanted this acknowledged i am expecting difficulties later on down the road so picked my battles. However, my solicitor is contacting the ex asking for him to agree to the divorce on the grounds of adultery from the month after we separated with an un-named woman (nursery nurse) with whom he is still in a relationship. So basically he doesnt have to admit to having an affair whilst we were still ''together''.

My question is, can he accept the divorce but reject the adultery part? And if so, what happens then? He has said before now (over contact issues) he wont get a solicitor and will be ''representing'' himself. Will this affect things?

Also, we have an agreement on contact which has been in place for the last 18 months. Every now and then he halfheartedly tries to change it but due to numerous concerns on my part it has remained the same. Can he challenge this arrangement in the divorce?

Thanks xx

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25 May 12 #332844 by cookie2
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jslgb wrote:

My question is, can he accept the divorce but reject the adultery part?

Not if it is based on adultery, no. Adultery has a high burden of proof. Phone records mean nothing, it has to be proven that intercourse occurred. That means either a child with a DNA test, some intimate photos, or a confession. If none of those are forthcoming then the adultery Petition will fail.

UB is a much better option. You should tell your solicitor that you want to proceed with UB, not adultery. Remember solicitors work for you, not the other way around (some solicitors especially legal aid ones need to remember this too!).

Can he challenge this arrangement in the divorce?

He will find it very difficult to change child contact arrangements in practice. No matter what is written on the forms, you as the PWC have control. The statement of arrangements for children is not a "wish list" of contact, it is a description of how the contact is actually working in practice. He can really write what he likes, it won''t change anything.

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25 May 12 #332847 by jslgb
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Thanks cookie.

My solicitor has written to the ex asking him to sign a letter agreeing to adultery before we start the proceedings. I guess if he doesnt agree we will change the grounds! Technically stbxh should agree as we''re not asking him to admit the affair whilst he was in the family home and seeing as how he has been with this woman since he left and we dont have any finances to fight over he should be wanting to get rid of me by now so to speak!

Fingers crossed!!!

  • dukey
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25 May 12 #332849 by dukey
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The key problem here is your saying the solicitor is asking him to admit adultery after separation, maybe you misunderstood, no solicitor worth their salt would do this.

What you are doing is saying to a judge my marriage is over, and this is why, but if you were to use something that occurred after you split you can`t use it as the reason the marriage ended.

Cookie is right, unreasonable behaviour would be the best option for you.

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25 May 12 #332850 by jslgb
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Oh right. Hmmmmm.

Would my solicitor not just be wording it this way to get the ex to agree? I was under the impression this was the reasons for it.

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25 May 12 #332863 by dukey
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I suppose it could be worded to reflect the adultery but not when it happened, i can`t see any solicitor being underhanded, all family law solicitors know what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to the reason for divorce, its a little odd in that the only ground for divorce is the breakdown of the marriage, then you need to show why this happened by picking on of the five factors.

Maybe have a quick chat with your solicitor just to make sure you don`t have the wrong end of the stick.

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