There is only one ground for divorce – that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To satisfy the Court that there has been irretrievable breakdown the person who starts the divorce “the Petitioner” must prove one of the five following points against their spouse “the Respondent”. The parties also need to have been married for one year at least.
- The husband/ wife has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
- The spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them;
- The husband/ wife has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years before the start of the divorce;
- Both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years before the start of the divorce and both are agreeable to divorcing;
- Both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years before the start of the divorce.
Many divorces use grounds based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour. If adultery is being claimed then this must have happened in the six months prior to any separation. Or at any time after separation. There is no need to name the person with whom the adultery took place or involve them in the Court proceedings.
If unreasonable behaviour is claimed then the test for the “behaviour” is a subjective one. It need not be extreme behaviour but is often a combination of factors. For example working too hard, or not enough. Or showing too much or too little affection.
Please contact Kirsty Tighe for more information on 0113 282 7988.