Croydon couples most likely to cite cheating as reason for divorce


Figures suggest adultery was more common in Croydon than anywhere else in London.


By Molly Kersey

Recent divorce statistics show Croydon had the highest number of couples citing cheating as a reason for divorce than anywhere else in London. 

Out of the total 2,664 couples citing adultery as grounds for divorce between 2011 and 2013, 14 percent came from South West London borough, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.

Nicola Jones-King, from McMillan Williams Solicitors, said: “Infidelity is a common reason for a relationship totally ending rather than being repairable, but I doubt the people of the Croydon area are substantially different to couples in other areas and that the figures are more to do with the way divorce law operates.”

Under current English Law, a petition for divorce can only be presented on the basis of five grounds. These are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years by mutual consent and separation for five years without mutual consent. 

Ms Jones-King added that citing adultery could make the process quicker.

“Adultery as a basis for divorce does allow a petition to be presented immediately, although the other party needs to admit the adultery. If that fact is to be relied on there are limits on living together after the adultery is known about,” she said.

“Although most marriages end by mutual agreement few couples want to wait the two years or five years as required by the law to divorce without needing to make allegations against the other.

“So until there is a reform of the divorce law couples who want to get on and divorce will continue to need to accuse each other of adultery or unreasonable behaviour and so those will remain the most used grounds for divorce.”

The figures went on to reveal that of all the divorce petitions in London citing adultery, 57 per cent came from women who claimed their husbands had cheated and 43 per cent came from men who said their wives had committed adultery.

Couples in the North London Borough of Barnet were revealed to be the most loyal, with adultery accounting for just three per cent of divorces during the same period.

 Photo courtesy of steakpinball, with thanks.

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