Naming or Named as a Co-Respondent?

If you are making the decision whether or not to name a co-respondent on your divorce petition or, conversely, if you have been named as a co-respondent in someone else's divorce, the advice of JMW's divorce solicitors will help ensure you achieve the best outcome from the case.

Adultery and co-respondents in divorce 

If the person filing for divorce (the petitioner) has done so on the basis that their spouse has committed adultery, they can name the third party involved as a 'co-respondent'. However, this is almost never done in practice and the divorce paperwork simply refers to the third party as 'Unnamed Man' or 'Unnamed Woman'. 

The relevant practice direction in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 states that the third party should not be named unless the petitioner believes the respondent will contest the proceedings. There is usually an alternative way forward, even if a divorce on the basis of adultery will not be agreed by the other party, for example a petition on the basis of unreasonable behaviour. Even in the most contentious of cases, the actual basis for the divorce is extremely unlikely to be contested in court and it is possible that the hostility created by naming the third party could in itself lead the respondent to contest the divorce. In the majority of cases, best practice is for the couple to try to agree on the contents of the divorce petition before sending it to court, unless there are technical reasons for not doing - such as when there is a disagreement as to the country in which the divorce proceedings should take place.

What your solicitor will need to know

If adultery has been cited as the reason for marriage breakdown, the solicitor will need to know when approximately the adultery took place and whether that relationship is ongoing.

If you are thinking of naming a co-respondent on your divorce petition, the team at JMW Solicitors will be able to advise you as to whether or not it would be in your best interests to do so.

JMW's advice for the co-respondent in divorce

If you have been named as a co-respondent to a divorce, the family law solicitors based in our Manchester offices will be happy to advise you on your best course of action.

Whether you are a petitioner or a respondent to a divorce petition, the team of family law practitioners at JMW will listen sensitively and offer the most suitable legal advice for your particular divorce situation.

Wherever feasible we attempt to resolve the issues surrounding divorce by adopting a conciliatory approach. However, should it not prove workable to use such methods, for example due to unreasonable demands made by the other party, we believe in bringing a positive, cost-effective contribution to resolving matters through the application of swift, no-nonsense legal actions.

For a no-obligation discussion please call us on 0800 652 5577 or fill in our online form.

You can also read more about how we can help you and divorce in general here.

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Areas of Interest

Family Law Blog

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