Divorce is only allowed if you can prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. To do this you have to provide the court with the reasons that your marriage has ended. The reasons are known as the ‘grounds for divorce’ and there are five types of facts that the courts will accept in divorce proceedings.
You can cite unreasonable behaviour if your husband or wife has behaved so badly that you can not live together any longer. Unreasonable behaviour might be considered to be;
- Being physical violent to you
- Being verbally abusive toward you
- Being unaffectionate or inattentive toward you
- Not allowing you to leave the house
- Giving reason for you to believe that they are having an affair
You can claim adultery as a reason for divorce if you can claim (and prove) that your partner has chosen to be sexually active with someone else. The nature of choice is very important here as adultery is deemed to be only sexual activity that you have wilfully chosen to indulge in and so having been raped does not count as being adulterous. Adultery can only be used as a reason for divorce if the following three points apply:
- Your partner has committed adultery as per the definition
- You have chosen that you do not want to carry on living together
- Your decision to no longer live together happened within six months of the adultery happening or of you finding out about it.
Desertion is claimed as a reason for divorce in those circumstances when your partner has left you. To claim desertion as ground for divorce you must prove that your partner has left either;
- Without your agreement
- Without good reason
- For longer than two years in the last two and half years
- With the intent of ‘deserting’ you (or trying to end the relationship with you).
Living separately for more than five years
If you and you partner have lived apart for more than five years then you can apply for divorce on the grounds having lived separately for more than five years. In these circumstances can apply for divorce without your partner’s agreement
Living separately for more than two years with agreement on both sides.
If you and your partner have lived apart for more than two years then you can apply for divorce on the grounds that you have lived separately for more than two years, so long as you both agree on the divorce. There must be a mutual agreement for the divorce.
Once you have decided on the grounds for divorce that best suit your circumstances you can file for divorce with a divorce court.
About the author: Daniel Harrow is an independent hobby journalist and writes about a variety of different topics. If you need advice on the contents of this article, please visit solicitors southampton