Divorce Law

What is the divorce process like?

Divorce is the absolute termination of a marriage.

UK laws state that divorces can only take place after you’ve been married for a minimum of one year – though separation may happen earlier.

If both parties wish for a divorce and can acquiesce on a reason, you can see the process through without needing solicitors or going to court.

However, if, you or your partner will not agree to get a divorce, you will both end up spending time in courts and will most likely need legal assist. This could lead to an acrimonious or non-amicable divorce.

Suppose both parties can reach an agreement on all matters of the divorce, you can have your divorce finalised in 4 to 6 months.

In the occasion where you will need to sort out issues with money, property or children, (which will be done separately), you will need legal assistance as such matters are often complex.

What are the requirements for divorce?

 

Requirements for divorce are:

  • Your marriage has lasted more than one year.

  • Your relationship has permanently broken down

  • Your marriage is legally documented in the UK (including same-sex marriage)

  • The UK is the permanent home of you or your spouse

What are the grounds for divorce?

Grounds for divorce constitute as:​

Adultery

  • Adultery in divorce is defined as ‘if your spouse has had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex.’

  • If you lived with your spouse for more than six months AFTER you discovered their adultery, this is not a viable reason for divorce - unless that adultery is continuing. In this case, the six month period can begin from the most recent adulterous event.

  • As the court considers adultery ‘voluntary sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite-sex’ – other forms of cheating can be used as a reason for divorce under claims of unreasonable behaviour

 

Unreasonable behaviour

  • Your spouse has displayed behaviour in such a way that you can not realistically be expected to continue to live with them.

  • Unreasonable Behaviour is inclusive of:

    • Physical abuse or violence

    • Verbal abuse, eg. Insults, threats

    • Drunkenness, drug-taking

    • Refusal to contribute towards shared living expenses

 

Desertion

  • Desertion, legally, is defined ‘if your spouse left you for a minimum of 2 years before applying for a divorce.’

  • You can claim desertion, if you lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period, but that period does not constitute a part of the two years.

 

You’ve had two years of separation

  • You can apply for a divorce – if both parties agree – and you have been separated for two years

  • Your spouse is required to agree in writing.

  • You can show that you’ve been separated while residing within the same home as your spouse in the circumstance that you’re not living together as a couple (meaning you would sleep and eat apart)

 

You’ve been separated for five years

  • If you have been separated for five years, you can easily divorce, EVEN IF your spouse disagrees with the divorce