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To the Adulterer the Spoils? The role of Conduct in Divorce and Financial Proceedings in England and Abroad

Date:15 MAY 2020

Executive Summary

Conduct remains an area in which public and client perceptions vary widely from how case law has developed.  This article examines the historical background for conduct as a facet of the modern divorce and financial remedy process and how conduct is applied by the courts as a factor within proceedings.  It then examines comparable international jurisdictions before making suggestions as to areas in which the doctrine might develop in the future. 

Nowhere in my experience as a family lawyer does the view of the client diverge so far from the prevailing view of the court as it does in relation to conduct specifically how much weight should be given to the conduct of the other party in dealing with the divorce and later in relation to financial proceedings. And no wonder perhaps?  Clients continually hear that Parliament is attempting to deal with the issue of no-fault divorce.  It naturally follows therefore that we currently have a fault-based system.  Clients are understandably very surprised when we tell them that conduct matters very little difference in the overwhelming majority of cases. 

The Historical Context

Divorce as...

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