Tackling adultery – the wrong way?

Plumber Ian Puddick has recently been in the news after he was arrested and charged with harassment of a Mr Haynes with whom Mr Puddick's wife had an affair. He was found not guilty. Mr Puddick set up a website, twitter account and linkedin account all designed to expose Mr Haynes as an adulterer. Interestingly Mr Puddick reconciled with his wife, but what did he really hope to achieve from his actions? No doubt he was upset and angry, but if he thought that drawing public attention to the adultery would sway any decision in a divorce case he was misguided. Whenever adultery is discovered emotions will flare but the fact that there has been adultery does not mean that the 'innocent' party will receive a greater share of the assets. More likely is that the adulterous party will have to pay the divorce costs. The Court is not interested in blame or who is right or wrong. When it comes to deciding how to divide the marital assets the Court will consider what assets there are and what is a fair distribution of those assets after first taking into consideration the children's needs and then the party's needs. In some extreme circumstances the Court can take a parties behaviour into consideration when deciding on the distribution of assets but this tends only to be in situations where one party may have destroyed or squandered assets or somehow prevented a party from earning. Doing what Mr Puddick did may make you feel better afterwards but it's unlikely to help in the long term. Consider the time and expense he went to when he could have spent his money on getting proper advice. Also consider how his children might have reacted to what he did and how they felt. Revenge may feel great in the short term but always remember what the long term consequences might be, for you and your family. Ian Giddings Family Solicitor

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