Legal Reasons for Divorce

Couple Discussing Divorce With Lawyer

Divorce is no longer a taboo that it used to be in older times. It is now considered as a chance to start a life afresh. However, you may find starting the process of divorce and going through it overwhelming and confusing.

Legal reasons for a divorce

First of all, no reason for divorce is invalid. It may happen that the decision to marry was taken in a rush without any thought and now you realize it, or you may be having too many arguments lately, or it may be that your partner is too abusive and violent or you may have different opinions on raising your children and that is causing a rift between the two of you. It can be a big reason such as your partner being unfaithful or that you may have drifted apart or any apparent trivial reason which you haven’t resolved with your partner and it is affecting your relationship and mental health. You can seek a divorce on any grounds that makes you feel that you want to end this marriage now.

Now if you have decided to divorce your partner, you must be aware of the grounds you can file for it and the conditions you must satisfy before you file for it.


  • You must be married to your partner for at least a year.
  • You must prove that your relationship with your spouse has irrevocably broken down, it is particularly mandatory to prove this if you are seeking a divorce in England or Wales.
  • Both of you or either of you should be a permanent resident of the UK.

Only if you satisfy the aforementioned conditions, can you apply for the divorce.

Legal reasons:

There are five legal reasons on the grounds of which you can seek a divorce, and they are:


Adultery refers to “having sexual intercourse with another man or woman”.

There are some specific conditions that needs to be satisfied if you are using adultery as a reason for the breakdown of your marriage.

  • You must file for a divorce within six months of coming to know about your partner’s infidelity. An application sent beyond this time limit will not be considered valid since it would imply that you have made your peace with your partner’s unfaithfulness.
  • Once you have come to know about the adultery committed by your partner, you must either make your partner leave the house or leave home yourself. Living as a couple after knowing about it is not acceptable.
  • If you have committed adultery, then you cannot use this as a reason for divorce.
  • If your partner has committed adultery with a person of same-sex, then you cannot use adultery as a reason for divorce. This is because the legal definition of adultery only includes heterosexual relationships and not homosexual ones.
  • Adultery explicitly means that your partner has made a sexual relationship and it does not include lesser sexual gratifications such as kissing or touching another person.
  • If your partner agrees to have committed to adultery, then it is fine, but it is highly unlikely to happen. And therefore, you will have to find proof of adultery.

Unreasonable Behaviour

This ground of divorce can include a wide range of behaviour such as domestic violence, withholding love and affection. It is one of the most common reasons for divorce in the UK. You can also file a divorce by citing drunkenness, taking drugs, emotional abuse, threatening, manipulation or insulting.

Read more in this article: How Can Legal Help Save Domestic Violence Victims?


Desertion is the situation where your spouse has left you without your agreement and any genuine reason. It is usually done to end the relationship without any formal announcement. An absence period of 30 months is required to file the divorce without their consent.

Separation (more than 2 years)

This ground applies when you and your spouse have been living a completely separate life for the past 2 years. However, your spouse has to agree to file such a divorce. This type of divorce is not based on faults like adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

Separation (more than 5 years)

This ground applies when you and your spouse have been living separately for more than five years. You won’t be requiring any consent from your spouse for filing the divorce based on this ground. You just have to prove that you have been living apart for over five years. However, it is a very rarely used ground for divorce.

How Taking Help from Osbourne Pinner Can Help You?

A good legal representation can advise and guide you through the entire divorce process. Osbourne Pinner is a seasoned family law solicitor who can smoothen your divorce process by providing exceptional advice. They can help you understand the grounds of divorce, consent order, financial settlement, child arrangement order and grandparents’ rights – which is covered further in this blog post: Taking Legal Help to Access Your Grandchildren

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