She’s got a point

But when it came to citing the split on the grounds of his suspected adultery – although there was no evidence of infidelity – she was stunned to discover that the law says adultery can only happen between a man and a woman.
She told Sheron Boyle for the Sunday Mirror: ‘I’ve always believed he cheated. The law now accepts same-sex marriage.
‘Divorce needs to adjust for same-sex affairs.’
Sara added: ‘The law is out of sync with 21st century life.’
Instead, the couple reluctantly agreed to divorce in January for ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
Now the mother-of-three is campaigning for a change in the divorce rules, demanding that the process should be the same for all marriages.

More amusingly, is it the same the other way around? A heterosexual shag is not adultery in a homosexual marriage?

13 thoughts on “She’s got a point”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    This has been raised a couple of times by legally minded writers. I think the definition simply assumes PiV sex. Anything else is not adultery. So the more interesting question is whether or not a blow job is adultery. I would guess that is sufficiently popular the law recognises it.

    But how far down this route are we going to go? Are we going to say that a quick [email protected] while watching porn is adultery? A lot of men might be worried. Can a man cite his wife’s Rabbit as a co-respondent?

    Oh what a glorious time to be alive.

  2. Standard “irretrievable breakdown” clause. Almost all divorces are moving towards irretrievable breakdown as the triggering clause and not the cause of the irretrevable breakdown. The simplest reform is to *remove* adultery from divorce law, not extend it, and have the sole clause being irretrevable breakdown. If your spouse is prodding/being prodded by somebody else, how is that anything other than irretrievable breakdown?

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    jgh – “The simplest reform is to *remove* adultery from divorce law, not extend it, and have the sole clause being irretrevable breakdown. If your spouse is prodding/being prodded by somebody else, how is that anything other than irretrievable breakdown?”

    Marriages can and do survive adultery. It is not the same as an irretrievable breakdown. In fact I think that marriages ought to survive adultery.

    The best reform would be to return to 1950s definitions of adultery and irretrievable breakdown. Divorce cuts the children’s lives by something like seven years. It is strongly associated with a large number of poor outcomes among children including crime, mental illness and unemployment. There is no good reason why the rest of us should pay because two people can’t behave like grown ups.

  4. SMFS,

    No. A blowjob does not count as adultery under law. It’s penetration of vagina by penis.

    Because the whole point of marriage is about producing kids and the commitment is that you do it together. Getting a blowjob doesn’t break that commitment. It may create distrust, but that’s about a man eventually walking out. It isn’t about what he did right then.

  5. As I understood it, having it off with the opposite sex is absolutely the lowest and most dastardly thing one can do in a homosexual marriage and often leads to “irreconcilable differences”. But maybe that’s the old fashioned way, after all it isn’t heterosexual sex if you identify as the same sex as your partner, so perhaps now the distinction is meaningless.

  6. An injunction prevents us from naming names, but there’s at least one celebrity married homosexual who doesn’t consider his husband’s extra-marital affairs as grounds for separation. Despite having politely asked him not to go breaking his heart.

  7. Those links I’ve given are slightly ambiguous. It’s clear that adultery is not grounds for ending a civil partnership, but what about same-sex marriage?

    A man can’t divorce his husband for having sex with another man, but what about with a woman?

  8. J – probably yes, PiV sex being the definition of adultery. It’s the reverse of the situation of a married man having a homosexual affair; it’s not adultery. Basically, it’s adultery if the deed might make a baby.
    My own first thought was that the traditional definition of adultery – penis in vagina – is very tight.

    Do I get my coat now?

  9. “Marriages can and do survive adultery. It is not the same as an irretrievable breakdown. In fact I think that marriages ought to survive adultery.”

    Which is why irretrievable breakdown should be the sole clause. You can get a divoce if the playing away has do damaged the relationship so as to cause irrireteivable breakdown. But if, as you say above, the relationship *survives* the playing away, then by definition, the relationship hasn’t irretreivable broken down.

  10. Irretrievable breakdown is the sole reason for divorce in UK law. A sufficient demonstration of irretrievable breakdown is “that the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent”.

    The same-sex Marriage Act specifically added to the Matrimonial Causes Act that “Only conduct between the respondent and a person of the opposite sex may constitute adultery for the purposes of this section”.

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