Grounds for a Divorce

There are 5 grounds you can choose from. You can only choose one.

1. Adultery

This would be when your partner has had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex. It’s important to note that you cannot sight adultery as a reason if you continued living with your spouse for 6 months after having found out. Also if you name the person your spouse was unfaithful with they too will get copies of the divorce petition. You may not wish for them to be part of your divorce proceedings therefore it is advised that the other person is not named within the petition and focus is upon you and your ex. For the divorce to progress under this ground your ex will have to admit to their adultery. If your ex does not agree there are other options below to choose from. You cannot petition your divorce under your own adultery, it has to be against the other party.

2. Unreasonable Behaviour

This is where your spouse has behaved in such a way that you can no longer stand to live with them. Unreasonable behaviour is indicative of what your own definition of unreasonable behaviour is I.e. physical violence, verbal abuse, lack of intimacy, behaviour that effects one’s self esteem, confidence, emotion and general wellbeing. The Respondent would not have to agree to the divorce being based upon this ground, therefore it could progress without their consent.

3. Desertion

This is where your spouse has left you without agreement or good reason and you likely have no idea where they have now gone. It is notoriously difficult to base a divorce upon this ground as you have to show and satisfy the court you have made all efforts to locate your spouse. It is therefore commonly advised that the divorce be based upon one of the other grounds where possible.

4. 2 years separation with Consent.

Both you and your ex must be in agreement to base the divorce on this ground. Simply you should have been separated for 2 years or more. If you have still lived in the same household for more than 6 months then this may cause difficulty. You will therefore have to be in agreement that whilst you have remained living in the same household you have lived completely separated lives

5. You have lived apart for more than 5 years.

The Respondent's consent is not required for this ground however you must have been separated for at least 5 years or more.