divorce UK

Adultery And Divorce: Why The Two Don’t Always Go Hand-In-Hand

A divorce can only be granted in England and Wales if saving a marriage is absolutely futile. In order to be granted a divorce, there must be one of five specific reasons that are set down by a divorce petition.

One of the five factors that can be used to grant a divorce is adultery. Unfortunately, it’s also the most common of the 5. According to a recent study, more than 50% of men and 26% of women in a marriage will have at least one affair during their marriages.

Recently, a client came to me, his wife was soliciting for a casual sex on the internet at a site that caters to illicit affairs for married people. Scanning the website was a stunning experience! There are literally hundreds of married people who are looking for out of marriage affairs with absolute strangers.

The potential for divorce when an unsuspecting spouse discovers their other half is looking for an affair and has incriminating evidence to that fact. As in the case of this client, that’s pretty substantial information but is it enough for the unsuspecting spouse to get a petition based on adultery?

In family law, this is a pretty straightforward area. That said, it can be a little confusing because most people think there’s more behind it then there really is. The fact of the matter is it’s much broader and complicated than one might think. In order to obtain a divorce on the basis of adultery, the offending partner must have already committed adultery. The Petitioner must state that he or she finds the action unbearable and does not wish to continue living with the offender.

There are several common misconceptions regarding adultery and divorce. There are many questions that people have on the subject. Hopefully, this article will clear the air a bit.

By UK Law,

“adultery is only relevant on the grounds for divorce where the act has actually taken place. If a sexual relationship is with someone of the same sex or the relationship is not sexual, it is not considered adultery.”

Here are some leading misconceptions regarding adultery…

Adultery covers any sexual activity

As stated above, adultery does not cover all sexual activities. If it is only sexual intercourse that takes place between a consenting man and woman who either one or both are married to someone else. Any other form of sexual satisfaction is not sufficient to prove adultery.

If you have already separated from your spouse

Only if your spouse has sexual intercourse with another party while you are still married is it deemed as adultery. That said, you can only file for divorce if you can prove that adultery has taken place and you find it unbearable to go on living with your spouse.

It is not adultery if you are already divorced

It is still adultery if the other party involved is still married to someone else, at the time. If a party was raped, under the age of 16 or consent was obtained by fraud, sexual intercourse under any of those circumstances is not adultery.

Another fact, if the other party is with a wife in a polygamous marriage, it’s not adultery as far as the spouse in the same marriage.

An extra-marital relationship between two people of the same sex

Again, adultery only applies when there has been sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Therefore, an extra-marital relationship between two people of the same sex is considered improper association but not adultery. If a spouse wishes to dissolve the marriage, they can instead file on the basis of unreasonable behaviour.

Adultery before the marriage is still adultery if found out about after the marriage

A spouse who was unfaithful before the marriage has not committed adultery. It will only be considered as adultery if the affair continues after the marriage.

You find it unbearable to continue living with your spouse, it must be linked to adultery

That is not necessarily true. If adultery was the final straw in the marriage or you are experiencing a history of unpleasant behavior, you can file for divorce using divorce solicitors.

You want to shame the other man or woman in the divorce petition

You may want to publicly shame the other party, but it is not a requirement for divorce nor recommended. If your spouse has admitted to adultery, there is no reason to name the other party unless you are looking for revenge. It might make you feel better but it could make a mess out of the divorce. Everyone could easily experience higher costs and you run the risk of gaining the judge’s disapproval. Let it go!

It’s my advice that you show dignity and instead concentrate on other issues such as your children and finances. You could seek costs in the divorce suit, though not finances or children, as they are separate. There are fees that you will be responsible for including the actual petition fee of £340, your attorney’s fees and an absolute fee for £40.

The third-party’s finances will pay off the other spouse

The fact is, that’s just never going to happen. There are circumstances where a partner’s new spouse has finances that could indirectly affect the ex-spouses finance before the divorce and to meet this person’s needs.

If you commit adultery the courts will be against you dealing with your finances & children

Again, this is not the case. Most marriages fall apart due to both parties. Adultery might happen during a failing marriage but it’s not generally the cause.

You can counterbalance the petition by filing a statement explaining the reasons why you think the marriage fell apart before the adultery took place.

Based on adultery, your petition for divorce will entitle you to a larger settlement

Wrong again! Adultery by itself is not regarded by the courts as conduct that would be inequitable to disregard. The case would depend on the details and the judge will retain a wide level of discretion in addressing it to arrive at what would be considered a fair conclusion.

That said, conduct that is referred to as “gross and obvious” would definitely affect the divorce settlement. For instance, there was a case when a wife continually stabbed her husband and left him incapacitated for life. That situation fell into gross and obvious and her entire settlement was reduced.

Keep in mind, after learning about adultery, you only have six months to file a divorce petition. Once the six months have elapsed, you cannot use adultery for your divorce. The courts will deem your actions as tolerating and condoning the conduct.

Think about this – divorce is not about putting individuals through trials and tribulations. It’s about drawing a line in the sand and allowing both parties to move on with their lives.

In my experience, I have never seen either party totally forgive the other, even years later. Chances are, they will remember what they forgave in court just to move on but never really did.

The Break Clause and how to use it

It is crucial to know that the content of the lease agreement is for your benefit if you are a landlord or tenant. Make sure you have a clear understanding of a break clause and its application.

For instance, if a break clause is attached to your lease agreement, it means the landlord or the tenant has the right to bring the lease agreement to an end in the early stage. This approach of break clauses is used by tenants who want to bargain for a more beneficial lease term agreement to have a fair advantage over some property owners who wish to preserve their source of income judiciously.

The Letting Market

Landlords have been feeling worried ever since the focus has been on assisting more individuals to purchase their homes; this has brought about a decrease in demand for letting of houses. As the pangs of economic challenges bit harder, more tenants are utilizing the features of the break clause. According to some provisional break clauses, the tenant must have met specific conditions as at the break date, and litigation process will start.

Serving The Notice

There are various types of break clauses, and some of them dictate how the notice must be issued. It may even foist certain conditions on the technique to be utilized while it is being served. It is crucial to note that failure to follow the rules stated in the terms will make the notice invalid. The notice cannot be withdrawn once it has been issued.

If you are a tenant, make sure you do your research by checking the information of the parties in the lease agreement with the Land Registry and Companies House. It is also vital to take a careful look at the details of the lease agreement before signing it. You must make sure if the service provisions of the agreement are compulsory. If you are not sure of the requirements, you can exploit several techniques to issue the notice to the property owner and the agents to protect yourself. Ensure you acquire proof of service of the notice for record purposes.

Landlords are also advised to maintain close relationship with their tenants to forestall an event where a notice will be issued to them, as this will make them have a fair advantage, as well as give them the opportunity to discuss new terms of agreement before it gets too late and prior to the time the renter is no longer staying in the house.

When To Serve The Notice

Several factors will determine the application of the break notice. A break notice can be invoked when a specific time has passed, or there are some particular dates it can be done. This clause should be made clear in the lease agreement and the terms of the notice period should be explicit and clear to the tenants. Occupants of the property should keep a record of the dates in the clause and reconsider their options at least twelve months before the notice period begins.

Try to seek an audience with the audience with the landlord if you are not sure of the dates of the break clause; this will enable you to agree on a date. Do not wait until the last minute before making a move as you can serve several notices if there is a need to do so. Moreover, if your landlord is a company based abroad, you will need to give them more time.

Maintaining an excellent relationship with the occupant of your property as a landlord will offer you an idea if your tenant will take advantage of the break clause if you attempt to increase the rent. This relationship will enable you to decide if it is the best time to raise the price. As a landlord, when you are about to increase the rent, you may have to check for any time limits in the rent review clause that you may need to oblige to if the break date is associated with the review date.

Conditions

Terms of a break clause are found in the tenant’s break clause and can entail essential details like full payment of the rent under the lease agreement. Several litigation cases have been recorded on types of cases such as these, as it should be made clear from the beginning if the tenant is obliged to make payment if the break date falls within quarter days.

It is also essential for all occupants to find out if the lease agreement involves principle rent or have other fees such as interest or value-added tax. Make sure you know your payment history and in the case of late payments, ensure you pay the interest accrued on the late reimbursements. Tenants are advised to receive verification from their landlords that their fees are complete as these facts could be challenged after the break date in the absence of a verified proof. During the negotiation of your lease, make sure your landlord refund payment for the time after the break dates. Landlords should not create a completion statement unless it is stipulated in the lease agreement.

Vacant Possession

The term “vacant possession” does not mean unoccupied in the real sense, it says the personal effects of the tenants have been removed, the keys have been returned, and no occupant is there on the break date. Tenants should make sure they are not using the property during that period or preventing the landlord from using the property. Occupants should be informed of any repair works that must be executed for them to leave the premises and the landlord must also confirm about the kind of work they want to do on the property. Landlords should make sure that the tenant is issued a notice to restore modifications.

Tenants Covenants

The covenants stipulate that the occupant should comply with their rules, especially when the condition of the house is discussed. It is important for tenants to complete a compliance audit with a surveyor that will inform the landlord of any violations of the lease covenants as this will offer you as the property owner to do the needful by repairing it. The landlord is obliged to provide you with a schedule for any repair jobs, and this should be concluded before the break date.

Settlement

A financial settlement may be required ahead of the break date to pay for the repair work and save the tenant from break pre-conditions. It offers certainty that the lease will end on the break date and both parties have to negotiate the repair settlements. It is vital to start the process of settlement early as it will make the last stages of a break more comfortable for the landlord and the tenant.

As most individuals view a break clause as negative, making it explicit and in clear terms will inform all parties involved about their responsibilities and this knowledge will make the process a pretty straightforward one.

The IMF’s Concerns Regarding Household Debts In the UK

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization that advances financial stability and monetary help, internationally. It promotes international trade, employment, and economic growth. This organization is run by a 189 membership from different countries.

Lately, the IMF has announced a surge in household debt which could very well lead to a financial crisis worldwide. They have stated that this crisis could lead to a negative economic impact.

A recent report said “higher household debt is associated with a greater probability of a banking crisis, especially when debt is already high. A sudden economic shock, such as a decline in home prices could trigger a spiral of credit defaults and debt that shakes the foundations of the financial system.”

This warning from the IMF was first announced after discovering the rising debt that has incurred in the United Kingdom. Since 2007, the levels of household debt dropped in the UK from 150% to 130% but have since risen to 137% over the past few years.

The most recent figures coming from the Bank of England has discovered that British households have unsecured debts of approximately £203 billion from car loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and other types of loans. There is a rising concern that lenders in the UK could lose well over 30 billion due to borrowers who are in debt and having a hard time paying these loans back.

Economist Claudio Raddatz, from the IMF, stated: “Growing debt levels signal risks down the road”. Although some economists believe that extra spending can actually help the economy but over time, spending and debt will lead to risks in the economy.

Economist Nico Valckx of the IMF said “Debt greases the wheels of the economy. It allows individuals to make big investments today, like buying a house or going to college, by pledging some of their future earnings to pay the debt incurred. That’s all fine in theory. But as a global financial crisis showed, rapid growth in household debt, especially mortgages, can be dangerous”.

The IMF has continually warned lenders that the increase in spending and debt is getting well out of control. More households are heading into debt once again which is a reflection of past financial crisis.

They are afraid that lessons of the last financial crisis and the negative impact it had on the economy has obviously not been learned by spenders. Consumers must become more astute regarding their spending and borrowing habits. If households continue on this slippery slope, it will show that people just have not gotten the message.

The IMF’s latest concerns remain to be seen but the increase in household debt could lead to another crisis within the country.