Five FAQs about grounds for divorce


What are the main grounds for divorce?

In order for the court to grant you a divorce you have to establish one of the five grounds of divorce that show the irretrievable break down of your marriage. The five grounds are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years with consent, and separation for five years without consent.

What is the ground of separation?

Your divorce solicitor will explain that if you can show the court that you have lived apart for at least two years, and you both agree to the divorce, the court is likely to support your petition for divorce on the grounds of separation. If you have lived apart from your spouse for more than five years, you don’t actually need their consent to petition the court for divorce.

What is meant by unreasonable behaviour?

The behaviour of your spouse can be strong grounds for divorce if you can prove the behaviour was so unreasonable that you can no longer bear to live with them. Unreasonable behaviour can include physical violence towards you. Verbal abuse is also a form of unreasonable behaviour, as is not allowing you to leave the house or other controlling or manipulative behaviour. Your family solicitor can assess your circumstances and advise whether you could use this ground for divorce.

How do I show the ground I am using for my divorce?

To get a divorce you have to send a petition (a form) to the court. On the form will be space where you need to outline in detail the reasons for your application for divorce. This is your chance to explain the grounds on which you are asking for a divorce. If you have any queries about the divorce petition, a family law solicitor can be a great help.

Why should I use a solicitor to help with my divorce?

You don’t have to use a solicitor to petition the court for divorce, but you will find that the help and advice of a divorce solicitor will be invaluable. You will probably want to have legal support if your divorce is contested, or if there are special circumstances surrounding your divorce.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on divorce, Caven can put you in touch with a local family law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local family law solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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