In short, the answer is it is extremely unlikely. Couples that cite adultery as a reason for their divorce often believe that, as one party feels cheated and betrayed, that party is entitled to a larger divorce settlement. This is not the case.
When the courts determine how a couple’s assets should be apportioned, they consider various factors laid out in s.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The relevant factor applicable to adultery is “the conduct of each of the parties” which has to be such that it would be “inequitable” for the courts to disregard it.
The bar for conduct to be taken into account is extremely high. The types of behaviour which may cross the threshold include domestic violence or attempted murder. As such, it is highly unlikely that the court would ever consider adultery as a factor which impacts the divorce settlement. Indeed, it is extremely rare that any reason for a divorce would ever be taken into account by the court when dividing assets.
The court’s role is not to pass moral judgments on individuals, but rather to bring about the fairest outcome to enable both parties to move on with their lives.
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