How Adultery Affects Divorce: FLiP’s Elizabeth Hicks Featured in Tatler
Elizabeth Hicks, Director at Family Law in Partnership, tells Tatler that since the introduction of no-fault divorce in April 2022, partners don’t need to cite an affair as the reason for divorce but it doesn’t stop it becoming a significant factor. ‘I have represented numerous multi-millionaires and their spouses where one person has committed adultery and this has caused a huge lack of trust when it then comes to dealing with the financial aspects of the divorce.’
Elizabeth further explains: ‘It can mean that rather than agreeing a voluntary process to make financial disclosure and try and reach a settlement, instead the spouse who discovered the adultery wants a formal process (using arbitration or the court) and wants documentary evidence supporting every aspect of the financial disclosure – and even then, they still question everything their former spouse says.’
Elizabeth goes on to explain the impact adultery may have on financial proceedings during a divorce. Elizabeth says: ‘If the person who has committed adultery has however moved out of the family home to live with the other person or has stated an intention to remarry them, then that is relevant to finances. In every divorce there is a duty of ongoing financial disclosure and the intention to cohabit and remarry must be disclosed. In those circumstances, it has a bearing as it means that the cohabitant or new spouse will be taken as contributing to their joint housing costs, leaving more disposable income to be shared with the spouse left behind.’
Elizabeth also highlights that if an individual has committed adultery, has started a new relationship and there is a child in that new relationship, if the new relationship breaks down, there is a risk that the new partner may make a claim against them for financial support for the child. Elizabeth comments: ‘I have had a number of cases in my career when the man has been faced with just this – which causes a huge amount of stress for them in essentially having to deal with the legal ramifications of two break ups at the same time. It also can mean that the spouse they have left is extremely bitter which has a knock on effect on the way they then deal with the divorce and finances.’
Elizabeth is one of Tatler’s recommended family law specialists for High Net Worth individuals. She appears in the Tatler Address Book of leading family law experts found here.
Elizabeth Hicks specialises in all areas of family law with a particular focus in advising HNW and UHNW clients on complex cross jurisdictional issues of family, matrimonial and trusts law. Her work includes divorce, contested financial remedy cases, children cases and preparing Pre and Post Marital Agreements. Elizabeth’s cases frequently have an international dimension and many of her clients have substantial assets.
For more information on how adultery can affect your divorce and for specialist family law advice, please contact Elizabeth Hicks or one of our leading family lawyers on 020 7420 5000 or by email at email@example.com.