• Spencer Payne

Divorce Lawyer Argues For Greater Tolerance Of Affairs

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

Adultery should not lead to divorce as often as it does at present, a family lawyer has claimed.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, leading celebrity divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag has said that people should not necessarily end their marriage if their spouse has cheated on them, arguing that there may even be circumstances in which couples could make allowances for each other to have affairs, something she argues is normal in societies like France.

Discussing circumstances in which marriages have lost their spark and affection, she asked of such couples: “Is it always right for them to choose between remaining unhappily together or divorcing and starting again?”

Advocating a more discreet approach, she added: I think people would be a lot less upset about adultery if they didn’t have everyone else telling them that they ought to be upset about it.”

Family barristers have seen less demand for divorce law advice during the pandemic and Ms Vardag revealed her own firm has seen ample evidence this; demand fell by 17 per cent in the first lockdown last spring and 63 per cent this year.

This may be a consequence of people having fewer opportunities for affairs due to social distancing, not least as the stigma attached to being discovered would be greater. This was true, for instance of government scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, who stepped down from the SAGE advisory group after he was found to have breached lockdown rules to visit his lover.

If the pandemic does lead to a fall in divorce rates or even a new trend for people tolerating marital infidelity and other potential causes of divorce, it will represent a significant shift from pre-pandemic times.

Official figures for divorces in England and Wales in 2019 showed there were more than 107,000 among opposite-sex couples, up 18.4 per cent, although part of the rise was due to the increased paperwork involved in the previous year, which caused a backlog of cases.

The same year saw a 50 per cent rise in divorces for same-sex couples.

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