Q: Over Christmas I found out my husband had taken another woman to his work’s party after telling me that wives and partners were not invited. He stayed out all night, at a mate’s house, he says, but I don’t believe him. I am completely distraught and I have told him I want a divorce but he says I can’t divorce him because he didn’t sleep with this woman. Is this true?
A: This might be the case if you tried to divorce your husband on the grounds of adultery but there are four other grounds for divorce following the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. These are: Unreasonable Behaviour; Desertion; Two years’ Separation with both parties consenting; Five years’ Separation with only one party consenting.
To begin divorce proceedings you would need to send a petition to the County Court, setting out the grounds upon which you are applying for the divorce and the reasons you believe to support those grounds. The Judge will then decide whether it would be reasonable to expect you to continue living with and staying married to your husband.
From what you say it would seem that your best option would be petition on the grounds of your husband’s unreasonable behaviour. If however you want to try and petition on grounds of adultery you should consider whether or not your husband is likely to defend the petition as this could increase the costs unnecessarily.
The Court fee to file a petition is £410, unless you qualify for fee remission. Before you make any move, however, it would be wise to consult a divorce solicitor, and preferably one who offers Mediation as this can be the cheapest and least painful route, depending of course on the level of co-operation from both parties.