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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1432
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My wife have had marital problems due to my infidelity

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My wife have had marital problems due to my infidelity and suspicion (albeit based on tenuous, wholly circumstantial evidence) of my wife's infidelity.
I have since ended my affair, and we wish to keep our marriage together. However, constant suspicion and lack of trust undermines our marital status, leading to constant bickering and accusations.
I am enquiring therefore if it would be possible for us to sign a document that - in the event of divorce due to future, provable infidelity that the adulterous party relinquishes all or a part of their claim to our shared assets (we own our home together and I have substantial savings from a previously sold business).
We believe that this would remove an element of suspicion from our relationship and bring us closer together.
Is this legally viable?
Thanks for your help.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
The Law in respect of the matrimonial finances is such that behaviour in particular adultery will not impact the outcome of a matrimonial claim and settlement.
Courts are also not bound by any Post Nuptual Agreement. Courts are ordering in terms of Post Nups if they consider they are fair. To be considered fair - full disclosure has to take place, both parties have to have their own independent legal advice. This is envisaged when one party wants to protect some wealth - not in the circumstances what you are describing - and even when it is just to protect one parties wealth - there is still no guarantee that the court will order in those terms - even if full disclosure and independent legal advice has been obtained.
To sum up - I doubt such an agreement would hold. Either party could challenge and given the current position in respect of behaviour not affecting outcome - I would envisage that such an agreement would be challenged.
Whilst I appreciate this isn't what you want to hear - this is the current position.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Caroline,Thank you for the info. Can you perhaps offer any suggestions as to how we could make adultery punitive? Our idea was for a nominal private contract between ourselves. Whilst we would, of course, adhere to the courts stipulations - we would then have a private agreement which we could invoke.We want to make it difficult (i.e financially punitive) to commit adultery as we both love each other. This is primarily to give my wife peace of mind, as I was the risk taker. Without such an agreement there will be ongoing lack of trust, and I am considering all options for what immediate action we can take to at least reduce that.Do you have any suggestions (other than "well don't do it then"),Best regards, Matthew
Hello Matthew
Thank you for your response.
I can only really give you an answer from a family law prospective - which is as set out above.
My worry with any agreement that purported to give one party the lions share of the matrimonial assets based in behaviour simply wouldn't stand the test of time - as the other party would likely successfully challenge.
What I can say is that the family courts do not always have to adjudicate the matrimonial finances on divorce. Parties are encouraged to agree out of court and then submit a consent order for court approval to make the division legally binding.
Whilst the courts still consider whether the consent order as agreed is somewhat fair - a court is unlikely to decline to approve an agreement unless it is blatantly unfair.
This therefore gives you some scope to agree something privately and so long as both parties agree and needs are met should you divorce then the court will likely approve a consent order in line with a division you have agreed - without the court enquiring any further as the reason as to how you got to that division amount (ie any private agreement you had based on behaviour).
Do be aware, in any event, if you were to divorce and you earn more than your wife (amongst other factors) - she's likely going to be awarded a larger share of the assets anyway!
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Caroline,Thank you so much for your help. I understand.I feel marriage is a team effort, and that my contribution to our finances, the development of our son, and the maintenance of our relationship has been the lion's share. I know that sounds selfish and "he would say that wouldn't he" but I believe I could evidence that that is true. It's why I found myself in an affair in the first place.So I do feel a little trapped and that my goodwill and efforts have been abused, which is why my proposal to her is that we reset: we re-affirm our vows, we commit to stick together, and we agree a private deed stating who shall reliquish which proportion of which of our assets if we stray in the future -- purely to deter us from do and remove suspicion.However, you are a lawyer and this is not a counselling session. My wife and I are trying our best to get things back on track and you've appraised me of the law in a concise and manner which I understand.Great service and well worth £30.All the best and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year - you will receive a positive rating from me. And I do hope we don't need to communicate again!Cheers, Matthew
PS:I don't know if this is appropriate but I'll do it anyway. If I ever require your services in future may I contact you privately? I do not know if this is permitted by this site. But if so, you may wish to ping me on***@******.*** and we can share contact information so I have someone to work with should things not work out. I fully understand if that is not viable.
Thank you for your kind words.
I do hope that you are your wife are able to work through your issues - it certainly seems as though you both really want too and I am impressed with the novel ideas that you are considering to assist with trust.
I am not able to contact out of the site - but just being asked to assist further makes me think that you are satisfied with this service - which is a greatt compliment - thank you for that.
I wish you all the best for the festive season and the new year.
Kindest Regards