The 5 key facts on when and why you can apply for divorce

Considering your options and ensuring that you understand when and why you can apply for divorce, will enable you to make an informed decision.

In today’s post we will be discussing the 5 key facts that you should consider prior to applying for a divorce.

Divorce proceedings cannot be presented to the Court before the expiration of one year from the date of the marriage, unless in the unusual situation where a marriage has not been consummated, either party may apply for the marriage to be dissolved at any time.

Also, for the Court to be able to hear divorce proceedings, one or either party must be either domiciled or habitually resident in England and Wales.

There is one “ground” for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To prove this the petitioning party has to rely on one of five “facts”. They are as follows:-

  1. That the Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent;
  2. That the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent;
  3. That the Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years;
  4. That the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of two years, preceding the presentation of the petition and the Respondent consents to the divorce;
  5. The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years.

If divorce proceedings are to be commenced immediately upon the separation of the parties, then either grounds 1) or 2) above would need to be used.

There are various specific rules concerning the ability of parties to petition for divorce if a reconciliation has been attempted and we will be able to give you detailed advice on these points if they are applicable.

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Look out for next weeks post which will cover the procedure of applying for divorce and will also provide answers to a number of common questions.

If you are in more urgent need for advice and would like to arrange to meet with someone to discuss your divorce, please contact Sara Fildes by phone on 01243 790532 or via email on