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In English law, a co-respondent is, in general, a respondent to a petition, or other legal proceeding, along with another or others, or a person called upon to answer in some other way.[1]


More particularly, since the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, in a petition for divorce on the ground of adultery, a co-respondent is a person charged with misconduct with the petitioner's spouse.

As of 2007, alleged parties to a spouse's adultery must be made co-respondents unless they are not named in the petition or the court directs otherwise.[2][3]

In practice, naming such parties in a divorce petition is discouraged as it may become a barrier to reconciliation. Such parties are only commonly named if the petitioner is seeking costs against them or has some other particular reason.[1][4]

See also[edit]



  • Bond, T; et al. (2007). Family Law (Blackstone Legal Practice Course Guides ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-920545-0. 
  • The Law Society (2006). Family Law Protocol (2nd rev. ed.). London: The Law Society. ISBN 1-85328-984-1. 
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Co-respondent". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.