What are the grounds for Divorce?

Mar 13, 2015

If you have decided that you are going to get divorced you will need to consider what grounds to use in your divorce. The law requires you to state exactly what has made your marriage come to an end, and there are five possible grounds. These are:

  •          Adultery – this ground for divorce is pretty self-explanatory. Where one person in the marriage has sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex, this is classed as adultery in the eyes of the law. This ground for divorce is not available in same sex marriage due to the legal definition of adultery being between members of the opposite sex.


  •          Unreasonable Behaviour - this ground for divorce covers many different things. You need to show that your spouse’s behaviour is so bad that you cannot live with them anymore. Some of these unreasonable behaviours could include violence, getting drunk regularly or being a drug user, not contributing money for housekeeping, being threatening or insulting.


  •          Desertion – your spouse leaves you and the family home without you agreeing the split and without a good reason. In order to use desertion in a divorce, your spouse must have left you in order to end the relationship and they must have been gone for at least two years in the last two and a half years.


  •          Lived separately for two years – to get a divorce you must have been apart for two years and the separation must be agreed between both of you. This will be agreed in writing for the purposes of using it as a divorce ground.


  •          Lived separately for five years – where one partner will not agree to get a divorce, you can divorce them anyway but you must wait five years to do so. During those five years you must live apart.

You can see that there are options open to you once you have decided that you want to get divorced. A good family law solicitor will advise you about the practicalities of the divorce ground you are considering and you should remember that in a same sex marriage you cannot use adultery as grounds for divorce.

To find out more about the divorce process and how we can help, call Karen Legg now on 01264 353411 who will talk you through it. If you would prefer to get in touch online, you can email our Family team at:  divorce@bsandi.co.uk instead.

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