Q&As

In divorce proceedings relying on adultery, would the court draw an inference that adultery had taken place if the respondent admits, or it is shown that she has spent the night with another man? Is there any case law on whether the inference would be drawn if she expressly denies the adultery?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/07/2017

The following Family Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In divorce proceedings relying on adultery, would the court draw an inference that adultery had taken place if the respondent admits, or it is shown that she has spent the night with another man? Is there any case law on whether the inference would be drawn if she expressly denies the adultery?

Section 1(2)(a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 provides that irretrievable breakdown of a marriage may be proved if the petitioner can satisfy the court that the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.

Adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other but one of whom at least is a married person.

The standard of proof in respect of adultery, is the balance of probability and the burden of proof is throughout on the person alleging adultery (Blyth v Blyth).

Burden and standard of proof; direct evidence not requisite; corroboration: Rayden

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