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Five Grounds For Divorce

According to National Statistics, 2017 saw 101,669 heterosexual couples get divorced, with 52% of wives filing for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour - this was also the most common reason for divorce for same-sex marriages. With divorce being a much less taboo subject as it has been previously, for many this is the best resolution for an unhappy marriage.

But, on what grounds can you file for a divorce? For a detailed overview, this blog will explain one of the five reasons that you will need to prove when filing for divorce.


If one or both individuals have engaged in sexual relationships outside of the marriage, adultery may be used as grounds for a divorce. However, this only applies if the divorce is filed within six months of the adultery being discovered. If, for example, you carry on living together for six months after you found out about the adultery, this goes against the idea that adultery has made them unbearable to live with. It’s also important to know, that as it currently stands, sexual relationships outside of a marriage between those of the same sex are not currently defined as adulterous.


If your husband or wife has left you without good reason or your agreement, you can use this as a reason to end the marriage.

Two year separation

You can also file for divorce if you or your partner has spent more than two years living away, you may have lived together for up to six months during this time.

Five year separation

Similar to the two year separation grounds, if you have been living apart for more than five years this option does not need the consent of your spouse.

Unreasonable behaviour

As the most common reason for divorce, unreasonable behaviour covers a range of situations. It’s usual practice to include 3-5 examples of your partner's poor conduct, and while each reason is unique to each marriage there are some common examples

Abuse - if you have been a victim of physical or emotional abuse.

Lack of sex - a non-existent sexual relationship caused by your spouse’s behaviour can leave you distress, and therefore, be grounds for divorce.

Financial recklessness - excessive spending or prioritising other expenditures of bills and household costs can cause long-term disputes.

Lack of socialising - when your partner has little interest in socialising with you.

Substance abuse - excessive use of drink and drugs, which causes an individual to behave in an irresponsible and unpleasant manner that can cause distress.

Lack of support - from not contributing to household jobs, supporting their partner emotionally or inc career decisions, this only causes hostility and eventually disputes and distancing from each other.

If you're in need of legal help, Trent Law has a team of trained solicitors on hand to work on your case. From family law and wills to employment law and tenancy, we’ll pair you with the right solicitor for your needs, and if English is not your first language, we have trained solicitors who can speak Polish, Hindu, Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi. Get in touch today to find out more.

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