It can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant time considering filing for a divorce. If you are considering it, you have to have a reason for wanting to end a marriage, whether you have been married for 12 months or 60 years.
However, there is a myth that there are several reasons to file for a divorce. But in reality there is only one reason a person can seek a divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The way in which you prove this can fall into two categories, fault based and non-fault based:
Adultery is a common reason for filing for a divorce as infidelity can completely change the dynamic of a relationship. However, if you have lived with your partner as a couple for 6 months or longer after you found out about the incident, you are then unable to use that incident of adultery as a reason for applying for a divorce.
Behaviours that can be included as unreasonable behaviour as evidence for divorce might include:-:
- Physical violence
- Emotional abuse
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Refusing to pay their share financially
However, the unreasonable behaviour doesn’t necessarily have to be something as extreme as those listed above. It just has to be a behaviour which you feel has made it impossible to live with the other person.
- 2 years separation with consent of the other party
If you and your husband or wife have been separated for 2 years and both agree to the divorce, you can apply. Your wife or husband must give their consent to proceed with a divorce in writing. You can still be living in the same home when separated as long as you are no longer living as a couple. But you must be able to show you’re living as ‘separated.’ This includes, but is not limited to, sleeping and eating separately, not socialising with one another or going on holiday together.
- 5 years separation without the other party’s consent
If you have been separated from your husband or wife for 5 years you can apply for a divorce without their consent or agreement. There is no defence to this if you partner objects unless he or she can show the divorce will place them in grave financial hardship.
- Desertion – 2 years
This is the most uncommon reason given for wanting a divorce. You can apply for divorce through desertion if your husband or wife has left you without a good reason, without your consent, to end the relationship, or for more than 2 years in the last 2.5 years but that desertion comes to an end when you accept they have left you and move on with your life..
How can I find out more?
If you are considering a divorce or would like more information, call us on 0800 614 722
to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our legal specialists.