The Ministry of Justice had revised a divorce petition which openly invites the petitioner for divorce to openly name the person whom the respondent has committed adultery.

While this isn’t something completely new, this new revision actively encourages people to do so. While this revision has been met with praise from some, it has been met with concern from some.

They are concerned that with this active encouragement, they will give out the name of the person with whom adultery was committed with, without thinking through the consequences of doing so.

These are the main 5 strands or grounds for divorce:

At the moment, most divorce cases go through the unreasonable behaviour route, as it allows the petitioner to place down what the ground for divorce is and the respondent to simply agree and sign.

If they choose not to, then the court case will be held, airing all the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

However, on the record, the grounds of divorce are written as unreasonable behaviour. If the petitioner chooses to file on the grounds of adultery, and the petitioner doesn’t agree or denies, then the petitioner has to prove the adultery.

In this case, it’s often easy to name the person with whom adultery was committed with, in order to force the respondent to sign.

However, this can often prolong proceedings as now a third person is involved.

Practice direction 7A, family procedure rules 2010 provides this guidance:

‘2.1       Where the application refers to adultery or to an improper association with another person, that other person should not be named in the application unless the applicant believes the other party to the marriage or civil partnership in question is likely to object to the making of a matrimonial or civil partnership order on the application’

So how are they encouraging this?

The ministry of justice introduced a new form for divorce petitions Last month, which includes an entire section sectioned ‘adultery’.

Within which it clearly states that the user must provide the details of many people mentioned in order to serve them with a copy of the petition. While this isn’t new, the layout and format of the new form has been criticised for making it more inviting for the petitioner to add the names of the others involved.

For more information on Divorce law, and the new divorce petition form contact our team on 0116 2999 199 or email us at