My partner is in the process of divorce. He's moved out for almost an year, and he's been through mediation but it didn't work at all. It only gave his wife the chance to ask for more money.
He proposed that it is easier and probably cheaper for his wife to petition him on the grounds of adultery because his wife is on benefits and there will be no court cost. She didn't agree with it at all at the first place. We are just trying to make things easier and more straightforward but it is very difficult to make her cooperate. My partner started preparing another path, which is for him to petition her on the ground of unreasonable behaviours. He has already had the solicitor to have the document ready, but last week she started to show some willingness to discuss. Now she's saying if he petitions her, she will fight to against it. She will only agree with the divorce if he name me as a co-respondent.
At the moment, he's in the UK (he's from England) and I am working in China (I'm from Taiwan). I only go back to the UK during the summer time. We are not living together, obviously and probably won't be in the next two years. His solicitor has suggested that I should contact a solicitor myself to confirm that there will be no impact on me if I am named in the petition.
I understand that normally people agrees to admit to adultery but only on the basis the co-respondent is not named. However, we're dealing with an unreasonable woman here who wants to spite me.
Here is what I need you to advise me:
1. In Taiwan, the law is different from the UK. His wife might be able to "sue" me for adultery if she has evidence. She might institue legal proceedings against me, because adultery in Taiwan is a civil offence for which people can sue and seek punitive compensation. So, if I were named as co-respondent, what will be evident and documented? Would I just have to sign to say that I had received the petition as the Acknowledgement of Service? Or would I actually be signing to say I admitted the adultery with my partner? Will she be given a copy of the acknowledgement of service after it has been signed by me? Is she entitled to ask the court for a copy?
2. I understand that almost every solicitor we asked said that "it is considered bad practice to name a co-respondent" and "it is strongly suggest not to". Everyone said that his wife should be firmly suggested that it is stupid to name me who is not even in the country. But how? How would you convince her not to name me in the petition when there's no disadvantage for her? We all understand that naming me as co-respondent has no advantage for her in the UK system because in her case there will be no court fee cost, and if there's any cost my partner will pay for it. The only benefits for her are satisfying her sense of vengeance on me. I wonder if you would have a more convincing way you would say to her if it were you?
To sum up the whole situation, we were going to petition on the basis of unreasonable behaviours, but were worried that if it'll get the divorce longer and more expensive. My partner only just found out that there will be no court cost because his wife is on benefits, and then decided that maybe it's easier and cheaper for her to petition him.
My partner wanted me to decide whether I would mind being named. I feel quite distressed by this situation. We want to get it done quickly and more smoothly, but we're worried about any potential consequences, particularly the ones we could not predict at the moment...
Could you please advise me what's best for me and us? I need to know if there will be any negative impact or consequences, the pros and cons...
Thank you very much for your reply, but I would appreciate if you could provide more details.
1. If we give her the option of petitioning my partner based on adultery, yes he will have to admit it. What do you mean by "his wife will get that"? My questions are: (1) what will be evident and documented? (2) Would I just have to sign to say that I had received the petition as the Acknowledgement of Service? Or would I actually be signing to say I admitted the adultery with my partner? (3) Will she be given a copy of the acknowledgement of service after it has been signed by me? (4) Is she entitled to ask the court for a copy?
2. It seems like instead of saying this is not negotiable, there's no other possible disavantage for her that we can say to convince her not to name me. So would you say probably it'll be the only way that he petition her?