There is only one legal ground for divorce in the UK – the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. The Petitioner in divorce must prove that the marriage has broken down irrevocably when filing a petition with the court. Proof must be established under one or more of the following facts as grounds for divorce…

1. Adultery

Adultery a grounds for divorce

Adultery is one of the key grounds for divorce, if it can be proven.

You must be able to prove that your spouse has had sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, and that you find it impossible to live and maintain a relationship with your spouse.

Without proof that sexual intercourse has taken place outside of your marriage, it’s difficult to prove adultery unless the other party will admit it.   If they won’t, then you may be advised to file a petition based on unreasonable behaviour as the grounds for divorce.

2. Unreasonable behaviour

Domestic abuse grounds for divorce

Unreasonable behaviour is the most common grounds for divorce.

In England and Wales, unreasonable behaviour is now the most common grounds for divorce. You must be able to prove that your partner’s behaviour is unreasonable to the point that you can’t be expected to live with them.

In most cases, petitioners will need to list several allegations against the respondent when filing for divorce. However, if the allegations are especially serious – i.e. domestic violence – then two or three allegations should be enough.

If allegations of unreasonable behaviour include carelessness with money or spending too much time at work, then five to six allegations would be needed to establish grounds for divorce.

3. Desertion

Desertion a ground for divorce

Desertion as a grounds for divorce is rare, but still a key factor for any divorce petition.

If your partner has deserted you for a continuous period of a minimum of two years, this is grounds for divorce under UK law.

4. Two years’ separation with consent

If the other party consents to divorce proceedings and you’ve been separated for a minimum of two years, under UK law you can file for divorce.

5. Five years’ separation without consent

If you and your spouse have been separated for a continuous period of five years, then either you or your spouse can file for divorce without the other person’s consent.

How long can divorce take?

An uncontested divorce can take as little as 6 months. However, it’s unlikely that a court will finalise a divorce until matters involving finances have been resolved.

Should you hire a divorce lawyer for grounds for divorce matters?

Yes. To avoid the incorrect completion of paperwork, which can result in delays to the process, it’s advised that you seek the advice of a divorce lawyer on grounds for divorce matters.

In cases involving children and financial matters, a divorce lawyer is highly recommended, so that you get the correct advice concerning your options.

Even if your spouse does not contest a divorce petition, although your case will be much more straightforward, it’s worth hiring a divorce lawyer to help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible.

Do you need a local divorce lawyer? Talk to me, Claire Holland

If you’re based in or around the Leicester area and you need advice and support, give me a call on 0116 436 2170 or emaiclaire@hollandfamilylaw.co.uk for confidential, professional legal advice that includes fixed fees for straightforward divorce cases. Contact me now for a free, initial 30-minute consultation.