I have recently found out that my husband has a mistress. I am very disappointed. I want to leave him but he does not want to agree to a divorce. Can I sue him and the mistress?
- Your husband would have committed adultery if there is any sexual misconduct with another woman.
- Adultery is not a crime. However, adultery can be used as a ground to end your marriage. You may also bring a civil suit against both your husband and the mistress as a co-respondent for damages.
Q: Can I end the marriage without him agreeing to it?
- Yes, if one party to a marriage finds it intolerable to live with the spouse who has committed adultery, he/she may file a divorce as it is the reason of the marriage break down.
- You may file single petition for divorce.
~ S.54 (1) (a) Law of Reform Act 1976
Q: Can I sue my husband’s mistress alone as she is the one who seduced my husband?
- When you file for divorce against your husband on the ground of adultery, your husband will be made a ‘respondent’. The mistress can be made a ‘co-respondent’.
- So, you can bring an action against the mistress when you file for divorce against your husband but not independently against the mistress.
- The mistress may not be charged for having extramarital affair but she can be ordered by court to pay monetary compensation to you as she has contributed to the break down of your marriage irretrievably.
- If the adultery is proven, then your husband’s mistress will need to pay monetary damage that the court thinks reasonable to the innocent party.
Q: What do I need in order to prove adultery?
- The courts will consider the evidence adduced or witnesses’ testimony to conclude if there is any adultery.
- You are advised to keep evidence of adultery such as the intimate pictures, text messages with the mistress, birth certificate of the illegitimate child or confession/admissions by the parties themselves.