Frequently asked questions
There is only one ground for divorce in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales: irretrievable breakdown of marriage . To prove irretrievable breakdown of marriage, one party must demonstrate one or more of the following 'facts': (a) adultery; (b) unreasonable behaviour; (c) two years desertion; (d) separation with consent for two years; and/or (e) separation without consent for five years. Irretrievable marriage breakdown is also a ground for divorce in Scotland, but two years desertion is not available as a fact. Scotland also has a second ground for divorce: transsexual gender recognition.
This means your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her. It can include persistent violence, insults, coldness, disgusting personal hygiene, inadequate sex -- and more besides.
In England and Wales you cannot petition for divorce if you have been married less than one year. You must wait until after 365 days have passed to petition for a divorce and you must demonstrate that your partner's behavior is unreasonable or that they committed adultery, which is hard to prove if your partner denies they had an affair. Northern Ireland has a two-year waiting period. Scotland has no time limit.
Yes, this is possible. You can separate but continue living in the same property. You must, however, demonstrate that you have stopped living together as husband and wife (e.g., by showing that you have separate bedrooms, and you are not sharing any domestic tasks such as cooking, washing, and ironing, or going to social events as husband and wife).
No. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, a court will issue a Decree Nisi to stipulate that the petitioner must wait six weeks and one day before they can apply for a final divorce decree, the Decree Absolute. It is only after the court issues a Decree Absolute that you are legally divorced.
The amount of spousal maintenance you're entitled to (if any) depends on your individual circumstances. The court has wide discretion to decide what's fair, which means it's difficult to say exactly how much you will get.
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