Family Solicitors in Stockport
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What are the Grounds for Divorce?

To obtain a divorce in England you must show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably by proving one of the following five facts.

These are the legal grounds for divorce. You cannot simply state ‘irreconcilable differences’ as grounds for divorce.

Your solicitor will help you to decide on the most suitable grounds for your divorce.

1. Adultery

This means that your husband or wife had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex, and you can no longer bear to live with them because of it.

Your partner must either admit to the adultery or you must be able to provide evidence of actual sexual intercourse.

However, you can’t rely on adultery as grounds for divorce if you lived with your husband or wife for 6 months after you found out about it.

You cannot ask for a divorce on the basis of your own adultery. If this is the case then you either need to state different grounds for divorce, or your spouse must petition for the divorce on the basis of your adultery.

2. Unreasonable behaviour

Your husband or wife behaved so badly that you can no longer bear to live with them. This is the most commonly used ground for divorce as it can cover such a wide range of behaviour.

Some examples of this could include:

The courts do not require the allegations to be particularly serious as long as you can show that you cannot be expected to continue living with the behaviour in question.

In many cases it can be beneficial to use mild allegations in order to reach an agreement with your spouse and move the process forward , rather than using harsh allegations which your spouse may contest and ultimately delay the divorce process.

3. Desertion

Your husband or wife has left you:

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period.

4. You have lived apart for more than 2 years - with consent for the divorce

You can get a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce.

Your husband or wife must agree in writing.

5. You have lived apart for more than 5 years - without consent for the divorce

Living apart for more than 5 years is usually enough to get a divorce, even if your husband or wife disagrees with the divorce.

Some of the above terminology may seem very complicated. A specialist solicitor will help you to decide on the most suitable grounds for your divorce and guide you through the process.

If you would like to discuss an issue with one of our family law solicitors, please contact us and one of our specialist team will be happy to advise you.

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