Circumstances in which you may file for divorce


If you are thinking of ending your marriage and would like to file for divorce then you will want to consider obtaining the services of a specialist divorce solicitor. In order to file for divorce in England and Wales you must first be lawfully married for a period of one year. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 there is one sole ground for divorce - that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. You would be required by the divorce court to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is done by providing evidence to the court on one or more of the following five facts: 

  • Your spouse has committed adultery
  • Your spouse has behaved unreasonably
  • You have been deserted by your spouse for a period of two continuous years
  • You and your spouse have been separated for two continuous years and he or she agrees to divorce
  • You and your spouse have been separated for five continuous years

In Scotland the above applies in the same way except that the separation timescales are one year with consent and two years without consent. There also exists a simplified divorce route. Applications for this type of divorce are made to the local Sheriff’s Court. This avenue is only available for the last two facts for irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Additionally, the simplified divorce process can only be used on the basis that there are no money issues existing between the parties and there are no children under the age of 16. Couples are not required to attend court and the process usually takes between six to eight weeks to complete.

If you would like to file for divorce and would like to obtain some guidance, then Caven can put you in touch with a local law firm with specialist divorce solicitors free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local divorce solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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