Grounds for divorce
What are the grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Either party to the marriage can present a petition for divorce provided that they have been married for at least a year and the requirements of domicile or habitual residence in England and Wales have been met.
To satisfy the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, there must be evidence of one of the following:
- Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
- Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them (sometimes known as "unreasonable behaviour");
- Either party has deserted the other for a continuous period of at least two years immediately proceeding the presentation of the divorce petition;
- You have lived apart from your spouse for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of petition and there is consent to a decree being granted;
- You have lived apart from your spouse for a continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
You cannot petition for a divorce based on your own adultery.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your divorce and offer a free e-mail service for any specific queries you may have.
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