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.[2]

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.[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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bond et al. (2007) 7.4.19
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Co-respondent" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 144.
  3. ^ Family Procedure Rules SI1991/1247, r.2.7(1)
  4. ^ The Law Society (2006).