With the release of The Spy Who Dumped Me imminent, the stars have been talking about their worst relationship break ups.

Justin Theroux told reporters about finding his girlfriend in a compromising position with another person when he went to surprise her at college. Obviously they weren't married, but I am asked by clients whether they need to catch their spouse 'in the act' to start divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Adultery is just one of the ways that someone starting divorce proceedings can show the court that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.  This can be shown in several ways including confession by the other person, circumstantial evidence, birth of a child to the wife or findings in other proceedings.

The usual step is to ask the other person to agree to admit to the adultery when completing their reply to the petition and sending it to the court.  There is no need for the 'other person' to be named.  In my experience it is worth making sure this is agreed before filing any petition.

In practice, if the other person refuses to admit adultery it is usually cheaper and simpler for the petitioner to rely on a different ground than adultery, for example an unreasonable behaviour petition, rather than attempting to gather circumstantial evidence for example by employing a private investigator.

If you or someone you know would benefit from advice about divorce or separation, please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.  There is also a useful guide to divorce on our website at http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/family-law/how-to-get-a-divorce/