fbpx

Grounds For Divorce

There is only one ground for divorce under English Law and that is irretrievable break down of marriage. The Petitioner has to prove to the Court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and he or she can do that by relying on one of five different facts, that the Respondent (the other party to the divorce) has behaved unreasonably, has committed adultery, has deserted the Petitioner for more than two years, or that the Petitioner and the Respondent have lived apart for more than two years and the Respondent gives consent to the divorce, or that the Petitioner and Respondent have lived apart for more than five years.

The Petitioner, who is the person starting the divorce, must prove to the Court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  A Petition cannot be presented to the Court until the parties have been married for at least one year.

If the Petitioner is relying upon her husband/wife’s unreasonable behaviour to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down he or she will have to give details in the Petition of that behaviour.  The Petitioner does not have to provide independent evidence to support the statement in the Divorce Petition.  If the Respondent (the other party to the divorce) chooses not to defend the divorce, the divorce will proceed if the Judge is satisfied that the Respondent has indeed behaved unreasonably.

Many couples who have been separated for more than two years prefer to petition for divorce relying on the fact that they have lived apart for the at period time to prove the at their marriage has irretrievably broken down.  In these cases they are often known as “no fault divorces” because the Petitioner does not have to blame the Respondent for behaving unreasonably or for committing adultery and can rely simply on the fact that the marriage is over because they have lived apart for more than two years. The Respondent will have to give his consent to the divorce however but if a Petition for divorce is presented to the Court on the basis that the parties have lived apart for more than five years, the Respondent’s consent is not necessary.

Many couples decide to separate and choose not to divorce until they have lived apart for a period of time.  This is perfectly acceptable if it suits both parties.  If however one party is anxious to dissolve the marriage, and the other party has behaved unreasonably or committed adultery, the a Petition for divorce can be presented at any time i.e. before the parties have lived apart for any set period of time.

If you would like a brief, free no obligation chat over the telephone we can arrange for one of our solicitors to be available at a time to suit you. Please contact us on 01536 276314 to arrange this.

Latest Family Law Video

Sarah Chan - Seatons Solicitors

Family Law Specialists

Hello, I am Sarah Chan and I am the Head of Seatons Solicitors Family Law Department in Corby, Northamptonshire.

We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service. We will help and support you and most importantly we work hard for you.

Please contact us at either our Corby office on 01536 276300 or our Kettering office on 01536 311690 or contact us online

Latest Articles About Family Law

Trapped in a Controlling Relationship? The Law Will Help You!

Relationships are supposed to be between equals and, if you are being subjected to coercion or control by your partner, the criminal law will come to your aid.

Getting Divorced? Skimping on Legal Advice Can Come Back to Bite You!

Getting divorced without taking legal advice is a high-risk strategy and can come back to bite you years after the event. A husband found that out to his cost after falling victim to a series of frauds perpetrated by his ex-wife.

Sensible Divorcees Are Frank About Their Assets – Court of Appeal Ruling

Divorcees who seek to hide the true extent of their wealth can expect to be dealt with firmly by family judges...

Divorce Law Changes – No Fault Divorces To Be Made Available

The new laws being put in place will specify a period of 6 months from the petition stage to the marriage being ended, which allows for couples to have some time to reflect on their decision.

COVID-19 Information

We would like to reassure our client’s that it is business as usual and as a firm we intend on supporting our clients through this difficult time. Our priority is to be able to progress client matters whilst protecting both staff and clients. As a precautionary measure to limit the risk to everyone our preferred communication is by telephone and/or email and/or post. Given the government announcement we may take a little longer to respond to enquiries and deal with matters. Please bear with us in these unprecedented times.