There is only one ground for getting divorced and that is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The irretrievable breakdown has to be evidenced by one of five facts:
- Unreasonable behaviour – four or five examples of behaviour that means that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with your spouse anymore.
- Adultery – this is defined as sexual intercourse by a married person with someone of the opposite sex who is not their spouse. For that reason, you cannot rely on adultery if you are in a civil partnership or same sex marriage.
- 2 years’ separation with the consent of the other party
- 5 years’ separation – no consent is needed.
No Fault Divorce
The most common fact relied upon for divorce is unreasonable behaviour.
Many people using this have mutually decided that the marriage is over and yet are forced to make allegations of unreasonable behaviour in order to divorce. This can cause unnecessary distress and interfere with the swift and amicable resolution of children and financial matters.
For that reason, we support Resolution in their campaign to introduce a ‘No Fault Divorce’ so that couples can simply divorce on the basis that they agree that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.