Divorce for Adultery in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Salvesen v Administrator of Austrian Property
    • House of Lords
    • 27 May 1927

  • Johnstone-Beattie v Johnstone
    • Court of Session (Inner House - First Division)
    • 05 Feb 1867

    If, in the latter case, provision in the case of death becomes equally provision in the case of widowhood by divorce of the husband, the Lord Ordinary sees no reason why it should not equally be so in the former. There is no hardship in so holding; for, in entering into the contract, the father-in-law knew as much about the provisions of the law, and its identification of death and divorce, as did the husband; and must be held to have bound himself in exactly the same contemplation.

  • Jamieson v Jamieson
    • House of Lords
    • 20 Mar 1952

    My Lords, I think that it does not do justice to the averments to take up each alleged incident one by one and hold that it is trivial or that it is not thurtful or cruel and then to say that cumulatively they do not amount to anything grave, weighty or serious. What on paper may seem little more than a series of pin pricks may present a very different aspect when it has been developed in evidence, though the evidence does not exceed by a single word the bounds set by the record.

    Every such act must be judged in relation to its surrounding circumstances, and the physical or mental condition or susceptibilities of the innocent spouse, the intention of the offending spouse, and the offender's knowledge of the actual or probable effect of his conduct on the other's health (to borrow from the language of Lord Keith) are all matters which may be decisive in determining on which side of the line a particular act or course of conduct lies.

  • Bell v Bell
    • House of Lords
    • 31 Jul 1941

    (Fraser on Husband and Wife, vol. ii, p. 1209 et seq.) It was considered necessary in these suits for the pursuer to aver and prove that he or she had been willing to adhere during the statutory period of four years prescribed by the Act of 1573. It follows, in my view, that the quality and characteristics of marital desertion, as understood in Scotland, remain unaltered in the Act of 1938.

    If, then, we are thrown back on the words of the Act, without any good reason for following decisions and a practice which I regard as no longer applicable, I must say that to me it seems to be very difficult to support the judgment under appeal. There are, I think, other reasons for not giving a new lease of life to the old doctrines and practice. Here I cannot do better than cite from the opinion of the late Lord Justice-Clerk: —

  • Lady Selsdon v Lord Selsdon
    • House of Lords
    • 18 Jun 1934

    The doctrine of the law, as I understand it, invokes the fiction or analogy of the husband's death only for the purpose of causing to emerge on divorce the right which ordinarily emerges on death, namely, the right to a fractional share of the husband's moveable estate. Further than that, the fiction does not require us to do violence to the facts.

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Legislation
  • Conjugal Rights (Scotland) Amendment Act 1861
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1861
    ......S-7 . In Action of Divorce Adulterer to be Co-Defender. 7 In Action of Divorce Adulterer to be fender. . 7. In every Action of Divorce for Adultery at the Instance of the Husband it shall be competent to cite, either at ......
  • Matrimonial Causes Act 1857
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1857
    ...... An Act to amend the Law relating to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes in England . . (20 & 21 Vict.) C A P. LXXXV. . ... S-XVI . Judicial Separation may be obtained for Adultery, &c. XVI Judicial Separation may be obtained for Adultery, &c. . XVI. A ......
  • Divorce Reform Act 1969
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1969
    ......petitioner satisfies the court of one or more of the following. facts, that is to say— .   . ( a . ) that the respondent has committed adultery and the. petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;. .   . ( b . ) that the respondent has behaved in such a way that. the ......
  • Divorce (Scotland) Act 1938
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1938
    ......(1) Without prejudice to the power of the Court. to grant decree of divorce on the ground of adultery, it. shall be competent for the Court to grant decree of divorce. on any of the following grounds, that is to say, that the. defender—.  . (a. ) ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • The Privilege Against Self‐Incrimination As To Adultery Should It Be Abolished?
    • Núm. 23-3, Mayo 1960
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... House of Parliament, instituted in consequence of adultery.” It will be remembered that at this time there was no divorce, except by Act of Parliament, and all matri- monial proceedings were in the ecclesiastical courts. The Matrimonial Causes ......
  • THE EFFECT OF MARRIAGE UPON PROPERTY IN SCOTS LAW1
    • Núm. 19-6, Noviembre 1956
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... the Report of the Royal Commission on Mnrringo nnd Divorce (Cmd. 1956, No. 9678) and takes no occount of its ... a husband to maintain a wife who has committed adultery until decree of divorce has been pronounced.s3 The ......
  • Notes Of Cases
    • Núm. 16-1, Enero 1953
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... Cruelty, like desertion, is a ground for divorce which cannot easily be defined in the abstract. It is not an ... since the Reformation, has allowed divorce for adultery to either spouse or to both spouses, and has, since 1578, ......
  • NOTES OF CASES
    • Núm. 22-5, Septiembre 1959
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... v. F., before a Divisional Court of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division. In this the court was asked to ..., both cohabiting with her husband and committing adultery. It was admitted that the husband regularly used sheath ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Family Asset Protection – LGBT* clients and alternative families
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In the summer of the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the LGBT* community have a lot to celebrate. In the last 15 years, there have been significant changes for same-sex couples in Engl...
    ...... Owens in the summer of 2018 drew attention to the somewhat archaic divorce laws in England and Wales. While the Government has recently announced ... Adultery* and the other person finds it intolerable to live with them. The other ......
  • What Is Adultery? The Law Explained
    • Mondaq UK
    ...This article was authored by Alexandra Tribe . It is a common misconception that adultery is a ground for divorce in and of itself. This is not actually the case. There is only one ground for a divorce, and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. ......
  • Renewed Calls For A 'No Fault Divorce'
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... on the other, as one party must be able to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by establishing one of five facts – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion of two years, two years' separation or five years' separation. Divorce doesn't have to be about blame and who ......
  • The Divorce, Dissolution And Separation Act 2020 - The Long Waited No-Fault Divorce
    • Mondaq UK
    ......following grounds to be demonstrated before the court, whereas. same-sex couples have the same grounds with the exception of. adultery:. Desertion, where one of the parties has. deserted the other for two years or more. This once popular ground. is seldom used now. Separation, either ......
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