05 November 2020
Petition demands LGBT extra marital affairs to be included in definition of adultery
A government petition has been launched asking for LGBT extra-marital affairs to be included in the definition of adultery for the purposes of securing a divorce.
Currently, married couples can only petition for divorce on the basis of adultery when it is committed between a man and a woman. The petition, which has, at the time of writing, attracted 264 signatures, seeks to remedy this.
“Presently, if a spouse wishes to petition for divorce in circumstances where their partner has had a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex, one option is to draft the petition on the basis of ‘unreasonable behaviour’.”
Fran advises that other available options are:
- That the respondent spouse has deserted the petitioner spouse for a continuous period of, at least, two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
- That the petitioner and respondent have lived apart for a continuous period of, at least, two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition and the respondent consents to a decree being granted.
- That the petitioner and respondent have lived apart for a continuous period of, at least, five years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition (in this case the consent of the respondent is not required).
Whilst no fault divorce is creeping closer with The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill being given the Royal Assent on 26 June 2020, which removes the need to establish one of five facts as grounds for divorce, many feel that the outdated definition of adultery still needs to be rectified.