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Divorcing couples stop blaming each other as adultery claims drop by half in decade

Divorcing couples stop blaming each other as adultery claims fall by half, according to new figures [Image: Getty]

Far fewer married couples are giving adultery as grounds for divorce, according to new figures.

The Sunday Times have reported that the rate has dropped by more than half in a decade.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it was used for 9,205 divorces in 2018, compared to 20,765 in 2008 and 36,310 in 1998.

A desire to avoid blaming the other person in a doomed marriage comes as a “no fault” divorce bill makes its way through parliament.

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Speaking to the paper, Sir Paul Coleridge – chairman of the Marriage Foundation – said: “I think people are more grown up than they used to be and realise that a single act of adultery does not tell you very much about the cause of the break-up of a marriage.

“It may be a symptom of the problem, but my experience is that it isn’t the cause. The cause is the broken relationship, and the adultery arises out of it.”

According to the ONS, the most common grounds for divorce - used in half of all cases, compared to one in ten for adultery - is unreasonable behaviour.

This can include showing “little or no interest” in mutual children, or a “lack of interest in one another”.

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It comes as it was revealed that suspicious partners can order DNA ‘infidelity’ tests online to prove whether their other halves have really strayed.

The ‘evidence’ – such as underwear, bedding, condoms, cigarette butts, strands of hair or chewing gum – is sent off to a lab for analysis

The Sunday Times previously reported that one UK-based company is offering a £90 “semen detection test”, a £299 “gender” test to check if the sample is from a man or a woman, or a £500 comparison test to differentiate between their own sample and a “suspicious” one.

They also found a £60 “sperm detection kit” sold online - containing a solution that turns samples purple if semen is present - which is being sold as a way to catch a “cheating spouse”.