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Grounds for Divorce

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To start divorce proceedings you need to establish:

  • You have been married for more than a year
  • The English Court has the jurisdiction to divorce you
  • Your marriage has "irretrievably broken down" supported by one of five facts below.

The five facts are:

  • Adultery  

Your husband/wife has had sex with another person of the opposite sex and you find you cannot live with him/her anymore. You cannot divorce on the basis of your own adultery.

  • Behaviour

Your husband/wife has behaved in a way that it is unreasonable to expect you to continue to live together. Behaviour can be unpleasant verbal abuse such as name calling, a suspicion of an affair, lack of sexual relationship or more serious behaviour such as violence. If you have suffered a violent attack from your partner and are seeking divorce you could also be entitled to compensation. See how much you could get on our CICA calculator.

  • Desertion

Your husband/wife has deserted you for a period of two years or more. For example, your husband left you a note saying "I'm leaving you".

  • Separation for two years

You have been separated for two years and your husband/wife will agree to the divorce.

  • Separation for five years

You have been separated for five years.

Get in touch: We can discuss your case initially without charge and will provide an overview of how our service may be able to help you. If we cannot help you directly, we may be able to provide some very useful guidance about your situation or send you one of our specialist information brochures.

Call our helpline on 0113 218 5426 or make a written enquiry by using the contact form.