Q&A - My husband looks at porn every day. Is this a ground for divorce?

Q.  I was appalled to discover through my husband’s internet history on his phone that he has been looking at porn on a daily basis. Do I have grounds for divorce?

A.  There is only one ground on which a petition for divorce can be presented and that is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. To this end the Court requires that one or more of five facts can be proven:

Adultery and intolerability: Both elements must be proved to the Court, i.e. the respondent has committed adultery, and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent. If adultery is cited in the petition and the respondent denies it, it can be tricky to prove. Intolerability, however, doesn’t usually pose a problem.

Behaviour: The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent. Particulars of unreasonable behaviour are, however, often subjective and the Court can take different personalities into account.

Desertion: The respondent has deserted the petitioner for a period of at least 2 years immediately before the petition is presented. Desertion is rarely used as a reliable fact because it is so technical and other facts can usually be cited when the parties are living separately.

Two years separation and consent: The parties have lived apart for a continuous 2 year period immediately before the petition is presented and the respondent consents to the divorce being granted. This is often the most amicable divorce although the delay can adversely affect such as financial matters.

Five years separation: The parties have lived separately and apart for a continuous minimum five year period immediately prior to presentation of the petition. The consent of the respondent is not required for this.

You may have grounds to divorce your husband for his unreasonable behaviour. You should seek legal advice asap.

(Published 09/10/2017)

Nathan Wright

Nathan Wright

Partner

A Partner specialising in Family and Matrimonial Law

Alison Peters

Alison Peters

Partner

A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry