Co-op Legal Services responds to introduction of revised DIY divorce form

17 August 2017

An updated DIY divorce form, introduced by the government, now allows the petitioner to fill in the details of "the person your partner committed adultery with".

Anyone named on the form then becomes party to the case and receives a letter letting them know why - leading to the possibility that many more people could receive documents telling them they have been accused of adultery.

Research conducted by Co-op Legal Services has found that 44% of divorced women and 35%* of divorced men cite their ex-spouse having an inappropriate relationship with another person as the main reason for their divorce.

Responding to the announcement, Tracey Moloney, Head of Family Law and Divorce, comments:

‘’Divorce is a difficult process to go through, it’s emotionally painful for all involved, especially when children are concerned. The option to involve a third person into proceedings may not be in anyone’s best interest.

‘’Having a form that enables the co-respondent** to be named may cause people to assume it’s a requirement, leaving the process more time consuming and more complicated than it needs to be. There may also be implications on the co-respondent, potentially causing difficulties for a second family.

‘’I believe the revised form will see an increase in the amount of co-respondents that are named moving forward, which will slow down what is already a delayed process, being pre-dominantly driven by litigants in person.’’

Notes to Editor

  • Research was conducted among 500 divorced UK adults with Atomik on behalf of Co-op Legal Services **A person cited in a divorce case as having committed adultery with the respondent

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