The Grounds for Divorce – What Are They?

Rebecca Higgins Blog

In light of the recent announcement that the Divorce Reform Bill has come to a standstill for the time being, we look at on what basis you can currently petition for divorce in England & Wales.

There is in fact only one ground for the divorce, which is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. To demonstrate that this has taken place, a Petitioner must rely on one of five facts; these being adultery, behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation with consent and five years’ separation. During the course of this week, we will be looking at each fact individually.

To start, we turn to adultery.

To rely on this fact, it must be proven that your spouse committed adultery or you must obtain their admission that they have committed adultery. You must also show that you find it intolerable to live with the respondent (although this does not have to be because of the adultery).

Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and woman who are not married, but one or both of the parties is married.

You cannot use adultery as the basis of your divorce petition if you have lived with your spouse for 6 months (or periods equalling 6 months) since the date you found out about the last act of adultery.

If you are considering divorce, we offer a free half an hour appointment to provide you with initial guidance and advice. To arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096.