I understand from an article in The Times yesterday that there has been a change to the new DIY divorce form introduced yesterday that lawyers warn “could lead to more adultery accusations”. What is wrong with that? Section 8 now offers a space that is more explicit than before to allow for the details on your spouse’s “bit on the side.” Should you have filed for divorce because of adultery, you can now name and shame that person by providing the name and address of “the person your spouse committed adultery with (co-resondent)”. This will then mean that he or she will be sent copies of the petition and “become a party to the court case and if they don’t respond it will delay matters and cost you. But apparently in Section 11.2 it says that you can apply to have costs met by that co-respondent.
One lawyer said “without the benefit of advice we could get more people naming co-respondents, because they don’t understand that they don’t have to.” Or maybe they do understand and they want to? I personally think that this is a very good addition to the divorce form and might even mean that the “co-respondents” responsible for fucking up entire families might have a little bit more of a think about what they are doing and maybe even stop doing it – especially if it means they might have to actually pay costs.
Why shouldn’t they be held accountable? Why shouldn’t they feel a little bit sick when they open the legal papers? Why shouldn’t they take some responsibility for their actions? In cases of adultery they are potentially just as much to blame for the downfall of a marriage as the person who faithfully promised to forsake all others.
Admittedly emotions run very high during a divorce and there is the danger of causing delays and additional costs owing to the “revenge” element of involving them, perhaps to the detriment of what is actually important, BUT nevertheless, I think it will create a tsunami of concern that might just stop a few people from getting involved with married people and that is no bad thing.
Bring it on I say.