I was interested to see this article about the latest buzzword - Micro-cheating, which is where a person in a relationship suggests to a third party that they are available.

This behaviour definitely isn't new,  but it appears to be easier than ever with the latest technology.

For divorce purposes, to start proceedings the person lodging their petition has to show that they believe the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there are certain grounds that can be used to show this.   

Ultimately when using a ground like the other person's unreasonable behaviour the test as to whether micro-cheating is enough for the person starting the proceedings to feel the marriage is at an end is up to that person.  A number of examples of unreasonable behaviour need to be given, and as the recent case of Owens has shown, it is important that the particulars are detailed and the behaviour sufficient to meet the necessary criteria or the other person could successfully defend the petition and so prevent the divorce.

Another ground for divorce is two years separation and consent, and this needs both of the couple to agree they separated 2 years ago, micro-cheating or not.

And one of the alternative grounds is adultery, where obviously micro-cheating has become macro-cheating!

Either way, I am finding more and more clients have experienced this type of behaviour (or at least have found out about it) and it has damaged the foundations of their relationship.  They may or may not want to act on it, but increasingly they meet with me for a one off meeting so they at least know their options.

If you or someone you know would appreciate advice about a potential separation, including divorce, please do contact me on 0845 4041714 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.

And you can find our guide about divorce by following this link http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/family-law/how-to-get-a-divorce/