Q&As

Is it possible to rely on two facts under section 1(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (adultery and unreasonable behaviour) to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 02/05/2018

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it possible to rely on two facts under section 1(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (adultery and unreasonable behaviour) to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage?

At present the law of England and Wales requires fault for a marriage to be dissolved. Section 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) requires that the petitioner demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. MCA 1973, s 1(2) sets out the five facts which, if one or more is proved, will establish this. These are:

  1. adultery such that the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent

  2. unreasonable behaviour

  3. desertion

  4. two years’ separation with consent, or

  5. five years’ separation

MCA 1973, s 1(2) specifically provides that the marriage has irretrievably broken down if ‘one or more

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