Table of Contents

Is Adultery Illegal In Australia?


Infidelity has been a topic of concern and fascination throughout human history, often causing personal anguish and societal debates. In the context of marriage, adultery can have significant emotional and legal consequences. In Australia, a country known for its progressive legal framework, questions arise: Is adultery illegal in Australia? Is cheating on your spouse a criminal offence?


In summary, adultery or cheating on your spouse is not a criminal offence in Australia, nor is it illegal.

Understanding Adultery in the Legal Context

Adultery involves engaging in a sexual relationship with a person other than one’s spouse while still being married. While it is generally considered a breach of trust within a marriage, the legal stance on adultery varies from one jurisdiction to another. In Australia, adultery is not considered a criminal offense. Unlike some countries where adultery can lead to criminal charges, fines, or even imprisonment, Australian law does not directly penalize individuals for engaging in extramarital affairs.

Australia follows a no-fault divorce system, which means that the reasons behind the breakdown of a marriage are not usually taken into account during divorce proceedings. The Family Law Act of 1975 established this system, allowing couples to divorce without proving that one party was at fault. This approach was adopted to reduce animosity and promote a more amicable separation process.

Implications of Adultery in Divorce Proceedings

While adultery itself might not be illegal, it can still have implications in divorce proceedings. In Australia, the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage, and this can be established by a 12-month separation period. However, if adultery has contributed to the breakdown of the marriage, it might affect the emotional and psychological aspects of the divorce process, potentially making it more challenging for both parties.


Property Settlement and Spousal Maintenance


When it comes to property settlement and spousal maintenance, Australian family law aims to achieve a fair division of assets and financial support for the disadvantaged party. Adultery generally doesn’t play a direct role in determining the division of property. Australia practices a principle of equitable distribution, taking into consideration factors like the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage.


While adultery itself might not be a direct factor, it’s important to note that if a spouse dissipates marital assets through an affair (e.g., spending substantial funds on the extramarital partner), it could be considered in property settlement negotiations. Similarly, if one spouse can prove that the other’s infidelity directly affected their financial stability, it might influence decisions related to spousal maintenance.


Child Custody and Support


In matters of child custody and support, the focus remains on the best interests of the child. Adultery is generally not a determining factor in child custody decisions unless it can be shown that the extramarital relationship has a direct negative impact on the child’s well-being. Courts are more concerned with factors such as the parents’ ability to provide a stable and loving environment for the child.


No-Fault and Privacy


One of the advantages of the no-fault divorce system in Australia is its respect for privacy. Couples seeking divorce are not obligated to air their personal grievances in a public setting, as would be the case if they were required to prove fault. This approach allows couples to navigate their separation more discreetly and maintain their dignity during an emotionally challenging time.


In conclusion, adultery is not illegal in Australia, and engaging in an extramarital affair won’t lead to criminal charges. Australia’s no-fault divorce system underscores the importance of addressing the breakdown of a marriage without assigning blame. While adultery itself may not be a primary factor in divorce proceedings, its effects on the emotional, financial, and psychological aspects of a marriage can indirectly influence the way a divorce unfolds.


Divorce is undeniably a complex and emotionally charged process. If you find yourself in a situation where divorce is a possibility, it’s crucial to seek legal advice to fully understand your rights and responsibilities. As Australia continues to uphold its progressive legal approach, individuals are encouraged to approach divorce with empathy and understanding, aiming for a resolution that prioritizes the well-being of all parties involved.

Need Top Family Lawyers In Sydney?

Send An Online Enquiry

“Thank you Lyons Law Group on providing me an exceptional service delivered with care, compassion and a high level of professionalism. The outcome was more than what I had expected. A true reflection of your legal expertise and experience. Thank you Mohammad and team.”
Layalle Itaoui

Is It Illegal To Cheat On Your Spouse In Australia?

It is not illegal to cheat on your spouse in Australia, whether married or in a de facto relationship. This is seen as a private matter.


If you need further legal advice regarding your family law matter, contact our top family lawyers in Sydney today.

Our Recent Articles

What Our Clients Say About Us

Mansoor RamzanMansoor Ramzan
16:17 15 Apr 24
Lyons Law Mohammed khan,hijran, and the team have done the fantastic work.The team is really knowledgeable, professional, and capable of doing the law work.I highly recommend Lyons lawyer and especially Mr. Khan.
Lyons lawyers, principal solicitor khan, Hijran and the staff have been absolutely fantastic, friendly and efficient in handling my DV matters.The team is thoroughly professional, highly knowledgeable and I couldn’t recommend them enough. If you are in need of a law firm that genuinely cares, I highly recommend Lyons lawyers.
Maan TVMaan TV
20:34 31 Jan 24
Best lawyer ,very kind and corporative staff. 100% satisfactory results.
Liv MLiv M
03:52 16 Jan 24
Md SajibMd Sajib
09:47 10 Jan 24
Nuralam MiaNuralam Mia
03:17 10 Jan 24
Md RiponMd Ripon
04:31 07 Jan 24
Nur MohammadNur Mohammad
11:02 05 Jan 24
Mshafiq786 ShafiqMshafiq786 Shafiq
10:26 26 Dec 23
08:29 26 Dec 23
King AhmedKing Ahmed
04:00 26 Dec 23
Hijran has been the best and nicest lawyer there is
Muhammad Aslam sajidMuhammad Aslam sajid
10:41 20 Dec 23
Hani MakkiHani Makki
01:56 20 Dec 23
I engaged Hijran from Lyons Law. She was fantastic. She studied my case closely, even after understanding my record was well below average She decided to assist me. She conducted herself well, was always prompt, professional and helpful. She explained my best and worst outcome. She worked diligently and got me the best outcome NO CONVICTION!!! I would like to extend my gratitude to Hijran. Thank you so much.
Anowar SorkarAnowar Sorkar
01:25 20 Dec 23
Sana MollahSana Mollah
02:04 17 Dec 23
Aiyub Ahamed JabinAiyub Ahamed Jabin
13:54 15 Dec 23
MdAbul HossainMdAbul Hossain
02:23 15 Dec 23
Younus RahamanYounus Rahaman
22:49 12 Dec 23
SHAHIN HossainSHAHIN Hossain
11:49 08 Dec 23
Rubel HossenRubel Hossen
01:29 08 Dec 23
Aman UllahAman Ullah
03:15 06 Dec 23
Dennis BernalDennis Bernal
08:18 05 Dec 23
Lyons Law Group provides such a holistic experience. Such exceptional services and could not recommend, Mohammad, Hijran and the team enough. Sound communication and always going above and beyond. The team represented a family member of mine that achieved the best outcome because of the quality of work and time invested into the matter. From my family, to the dream team at Lyons Law Group, thank you!
Rezaul karim RanaRezaul karim Rana
01:47 03 Dec 23
MD. Ramim HassanMD. Ramim Hassan
09:27 30 Nov 23
hridoy hasan pipluhridoy hasan piplu
04:36 29 Nov 23
PM. ParvejPM. Parvej
04:49 27 Nov 23
03:55 26 Nov 23
Md Ismaile hossenMd Ismaile hossen
10:46 25 Nov 23
MD SohelMD Sohel
10:33 25 Nov 23
Sheikh SajibSheikh Sajib
10:12 23 Nov 23
Your MotherYour Mother
07:13 20 Nov 23
02:22 23 Oct 23
"Absolutely fantastic lawyer! Enis Erdem is a true professional who handles cases with skill, dedication, and genuine concern for their clients. He kept me informed throughout the entire process, making sure I understood every step. Enis Erdem is not only knowledgeable but also empathetic, which made a stressful legal situation much more manageable. I can't thank him enough for their outstanding work!"Highly recommended
Bahaddin DibBahaddin Dib
04:59 10 Oct 23
I had Mr khan who is the principal solicitor represent me today, Mr khan fought for me all the way and got me the best result possible. I would highly recommend him for all your law matters and can confidently say that he strives his best for his clients.
Mash HasanMash Hasan
00:38 21 Sep 23
Thank you so much. Great team of criminal defence lawyers.
Joanna StobinskiJoanna Stobinski
02:18 03 Sep 23
I found Lyons Law to be pro-active and easy to work with when dealing with the recent court case of my son.
Joseph BorgJoseph Borg
22:50 02 Aug 23
Mohammad and the team at the Lyons Law Group are a great to work with, they are polite and go above and beyond to help. We are very happy with the assistance they provided our family. I'd highly recommend the team at Lyons Law Group!
Shofiul AzamShofiul Azam
03:32 19 Jul 23
Mr Khan has extensive knowledge of the law and I am very much delighted about his service.
Julie NJulie N
07:12 11 Jul 23
Mohamad and Hijran are professional and straight to the point team. Highly recommended.
samdani gsamdani g
05:35 22 Jun 23
Very friendly and hard working
Mohammad and his time are the greatest criminal lawyers I have dealt with, they are extremely professional and can assist with any cases, big or small.
DR BernoussiDR Bernoussi
04:16 07 Mar 23
Mr Khan was so polite and helpful in directing me to the best possible outcome for my situation. The amount of support and knowledge they offered me was next to none. I didn’t feel like I was being mislead or looked at like a piggy bank. Mr khan and his team have your best interest into getting the best outcome. Pleasure guys kind regards Dr bernoussi
Natasha SusmanNatasha Susman
09:20 26 Jan 23
Lyons Law Group is honestly outstanding ! Hijran especially, not only is she so professional but she does her best and always is there to answer all questions with such understanding. Hijran honestly goes above and beyond and I'll forever be grateful. I highly recommend Lyons Group.
steve .H.steve .H.
16:59 26 Dec 22
A big thank you to Lyons law group, very professional. Mohammad was exceptionally well and handled my case amazing as well as Hijran!!! They really care about your case, I highly recommend this company!
Norris “Chuck” LuNorris “Chuck” Lu
04:15 30 Nov 22
I cannot express my gratitude to the Lyons law team with a big special mention to Mohammad. Having spent the last few years enduring and coping with the most difficult and stressful situation of me and my family's life.I have been using Mohammad and the team at Lyons Law from day one. They guided us through each difficult process in the most professional manner with full transparency, care and compassion.Through each difficult process up to the very last moment they only delivered results that exceeded every and anything we could have expected. Every outcome was exactly as planned and in turn got amazing results.So once again I cannot recommend Mohammad and the team at Lyons law enough. So like I and my Family did, have confidence that Lyons law will always strive for and deliver the best possible outcome.
Omar MOmar M
01:31 16 Nov 22
A BIG thank you to Lyons Law Group with helping me achieve the best outcome for my case. From day one they were very professional, straight to the point and very easy to communicate with, keeping me updated and informed with everything I needed to know. Honestly, exceptional service and support.Thank you once again to Mohammad & Team.
Edward HindsEdward Hinds
05:59 07 Nov 22
Lyons Law Group is amazing. They are very professional, sympathetic, and helpful. I was kept informed during every step. The level of support was second to none. Mohammad went above and beyond and updated me regularly. Hijram too was amazing. Her calls and court representation made me feel at ease. This was a great experience. I cannot recommend Lyons Law Group enough. My gratitude extends to all involved in the handling of my case.


  • Lyons Law Group | Criminal Defence Lawyers

    Lyons Law Group is a boutique firm of expert criminal solicitors and barristers. Lyons Law Group is dedicated to strong advocacy when representing its clients with an approach that is tailored to every client’s specific needs.