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What is the information required by Form 2 of the Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980 (General Form of Petition) (Part IV)?

Form 2
General Form of Petition


  1. [In the case of petition for divorce] The petitioner applies for a divorce on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

  2. The respondent has committed adultery with ....................... and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent [or The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent] [or The respondent has deserted the applicant for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of this petition] [or The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately proceeding the presentation of this petition and the respondent consents to a decree being granted] [or, where the petition is not for divorce or judicial separation, set out the ground on which relief is sought, and in any case state with sufficient particularity the facts relied on but not the evidence by which they are to be proved].

    You must be able to prove to the court that you have grounds to end your marriage. The court will only accept one or more of the 'facts' in Paragraph 14 as proof that the marriage has 'broken down irretrievably'.

    Summarised those incidents in your petition in few short paragraphs. Generally one to three short sentences for a particular incident will do, giving the date and place where the incident took place.


    Adultery

    Only sexual intercourse between the respondent and a person of the opposite sex may constitute adultery for this purpose.

    Adultery must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

    The alleged adulterer or adulteress shall be made a co-respondent on your divorce petition, unless excused by the court on special grounds from doing so.

    It is possible to prove adultery took place if sufficient circumstantial evidence is presented to prove 'guilt' beyond a reasonable doubt. Circumstantial evidence is usually consists of a collection of 'facts' to support more strongly the inference that the assertion is true. The court will draw inference of guilt if the 'facts' relied on are not reasonably capable of any other explanation.

    By direct evidence, unless your spouse admits it, you have to catch them in the act of committing adultery in flagrante delicto. There are very few cases where adultery is proved by direct evidence.

    You should seek legal advice if you allege your spouse committed adultery in your divorce petition.


    Unreasonable Behaviour

    If there are too many incidents, you don't need to include them all. You can have a general paragraph to summarise your spouse behaviour. Next, list the earliest, most recent and those more serious and important incidents in chronological order.

    An example:
    The respondent started coming home late or never at all since October 2013..............................................

    On 12 December 2013, after a confrontation at [name place], the respondent followed her to her work place at [name work place] and verbally abused her at in front of ..................

    On 25 January 2014, the respondent was so angry and had an argument with the petitioner regarding the respondent coming home late. In this incident, the respondent slapped the petitioner. The respondent kicked the petitioner in the stomach as she walked away from him. The respondent dragged the petitioner by her hair and beat her head against a wall several times in front of the children.

    On the evening of 8 February 2014, during an argument the respondent reached into a kitchen drawer and took out a kitchen knife to assault the petitioner. In the incident, the petitioner cut her left hand in a scuffle with the respondent. The petitioner lodged a police report on 9 February 2014 over the incident. The police report is exhibited hereto and marked 'E'.

    ..................


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Knowledge Base ID :   1525
Last Reviewed :   March 31, 2014
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