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Divorce and Separation

Divorce applications

In order to apply for a divorce, you need to have been married for at least one year. There is only one ground on which a divorce petition may be presented to the court, namely that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. However, to show that the marriage is eligible for divorce, one of five facts must be satisfied:

  • The respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.
  • The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
  • The respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years.
  • The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years and the respondent consents to a divorce being granted.
  • The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years.

The arrangements in relation to any children of the marriage must also be considered by the court before a divorce is finalised.

Firstly, you need to be certain that the marriage has ended. You could explore counselling to resolve issues within your relationship, because once divorce proceedings have been instigated, it is often difficult for parties to reconcile.

Provided you are sure that your marriage has unfortunately come to an end, you should seek legal advice  We could also explore with you the possibility of judicial separation, nullity or a claim under the Forced Marriages Act 2007.