What are the grounds for seeking a divorce? - National Family Mediation

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You can get divorced if you have been married for one year. The only “ground” for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However, to prove that to a court you need to be able to rely on one of the five “facts”:

Adultery: This is if your spouse has had an affair and you find it intolerable to live with him/her

Unreasonable Behaviour: This is when your spouse has behaved in such a way that you could not reasonably be expected to continue to live with him/her

Desertion: This is rarely used but is based on your spouse leaving you without agreement or good reason for two years or more

Two Year Separation: This can be used if you have lived apart from each other for two years or more and your spouse consents to the divorce

Five Year Separation: If you have lived apart for five years or more you can apply for a divorce even if your spouse does not agree.

The first two facts do not involve waiting a period of time and are often referred to as a “quickie divorce”. The process in fact takes the same length of time which is usually about six months from the date divorce proceedings are issued until the date of the final decree.

When you do get a divorce the court will be able to make orders about financial and property matters too if one of you makes an application.

If you have children you will need to fill in a detailed form about your children’s circumstances and the arrangements you have both made for them.

Usually you do not need to appear in court personally to get a divorce.

The office at your local County Court will have leaflets to help you and the necessary forms to complete.

Alternatively a solicitor will be able to help.

NFM family mediation services can help you work out arrangements for the children and/or finance and property.

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