What Are The Grounds For Divorce In England And Wales?
Posted on 2nd April 2020
Unfortunately, as we, your local Family Solicitors in Lancaster, have found, that not every marriage is built to last.
In fact, according to research at least 42% of marriages will end in Divorce in the UK. Rightly so there is no longer any stigma attached to divorce, and as such is it essentially much easier to divorce than it once was.
Legally speaking, when you marry you are technically entering into to a contract, and in order to divorce you need to list a valid reason, that falls into 1 of 5 facts, also known as grounds for divorce, to terminate the contact.
In the UK you are currently able to file for divorce using the five government listed grounds which are Unreasonable Behaviour, Adultery, 2 Years Separation with Consent, 5 Years Separation and finally Desertion. Carry on reading for a more in-depth explanation of each fact: -
The most used fact for divorce.
Unreasonable Behaviour is used when your spouse is displaying behaviours which you cannot be expected to live with, this could be extensive drinking, not contributing the household expenses, an unwilling to make any effort within the relationship, or an addiction such as drug use or gambling.
When filing on the grounds of Unreasonable Behaviour you will be asked to provide a short statement listing your reasons for divorce and how they have affected the marriage, and how your spouses behaviour has become so unreasonable that you cannot be expected to continue living with them.
You do not need your spouse’s consent to file on the ground of unreasonable behaviour.
If your partner has admitted that they have engaged a in a sexual relationship with a member of the opposite sex, then you are able to file a divorce using Adultery. Again, our team of solicitors find this to be a common reason for a Divorce Application being served.
However, in order to file using adultery, you will need to issue divorce proceedings within six months of finding out about the affair and your spouse must sign a Form of Admission.
As you’re your Lancaster Family Solicitors we would advise that under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 only sexual relationships with members of the opposite sex are defined as adultery by the Court. Therefore, a filing of unreasonable behaviour may be appropriate if a spouse is found to have been unfaithful with a member of the same sex.
2 Years Separation with Consent
You can also file for divorce if you and your spouse have been separated for a period of 2 or more years. Your spouse will need to sign their consent to you filing on this reason. If you partner does not consent, then as Lancaster Divorce Solicitors, we would advise that you file using unreasonable behaviour.
Since the date of separation, you and your spouse must not have lived together as a couple, this includes sharing a bed and preparing meals for one and other. You can remain under the same roof but must run separate households.
You must provide proof of the living situations if you have lived together since separation.
5 Years Separation
In order to be granted a divorce on this basis, yourself and your spouse will need to have been separated for 5 years on the date of the filing. Again, this means you have not lived together as a couple for longer than a period of 6 months.
Unlike 2 years Separation, your spouse does not need to consent to the divorce.
Finally, you can file for divorce on the grounds of desertion if your spouse has left you without your agreement and without good reason, or in order to end the relationship.
If your spouse has been absent for more than two years within the space of the past 30 months, you may not need their consent for the divorce to go through.
With some couples none of the above listed facts apply, it may be a case of your have simply fallen out love or realised that, through no fault of either party, the marriage has run its course or simply isn’t working.
While there is currently no opinion but to use one of the above-mentioned facts, there have been movements to include a No-Fault divorce (read our blog on the same here) which will remove any blame.
The Family Team at MG Legal are hopeful that this will be in place soon. Until then we will continue to offer our best advice and support as Lancaster Divorce Solicitors.
A note of our fees for divorce can be found on our Family Fee page.
And don’t forget, Divorce isn’t our only speciality, we also offer services such as Child Arrangements, Prenups, Change of Name, Wills, Probate, Conveyancing and Personal Injury and Medical Negligence. Why not contact us to enquire online, here….
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