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What are The Legal Grounds for Divorce in the UK?

Legal Grounds for Divorce UK

Legal Grounds for Divorce: Whether couples like it or not, divorce happens. In some, it can occur unexpectedly. When it does, couples and kids are likely to suffer. Ask UK divorce lawyers, and they will tell you that divorce is a sad part of life.

Why do couples divorce anyway? And what constitutes grounds for divorce? Many cite many reasons, including irreconcilable differences, but only one is recognised by UK divorce law, and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Speak with an expert divorce solicitor if you are at all uncertain or anxious about the financial aspects of your divorce or the custody of your children.

3 Legal Grounds for Divorce in the UK

There could be several reasons that can cause a divorce between families, but these are the top 3 legal grounds for divorce in the UK:


If you want to use this as a reason for divorce, you must prove that your partner has engaged in a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

However, you can’t use this if you still live as a couple with your partner for six months or more after discovering any infidelity. In UK divorce law, having sex with someone of the same gender doesn't constitute adultery.

Unreasonable Behaviour

This is when you can’t tolerate living with your partner because of that person’s behaviour. This can be anything from your partner’s refusal to help with housework or physical abuse.


Desertion is a valid reason if your partner has been absent for more than two years in the last two and a half years without any good reason or getting your agreement. This could be a deliberate attempt to end your relationship.

This applies if you have been separated for two years or more. This means you live at separate addresses or sleep in different rooms and have independent lives while living under one roof. You can get a divorce if both of you agree to this.

The same goes for five years of separation. The only difference is that your partner doesn't have to agree to divorce for it to be granted by a judge.

Legal separation is not recognised in UK law. This means you are either married and living together with your partner or married but living separately. Some people live individually but do not divorce due to the following:

  • They have been married or in a civil partnership for less than a year.
  • They have religious objections to divorce.
  • They want to take time to think things over before ending the marriage or civil partnership.

Before getting a divorce, talk things over with your partner to weigh the issues. If you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact legal advice about UK divorce law from professional UK divorce lawyers.

At Deo Volente (DV Solicitors) in Bedford, UK, we are committed to helping you go through this challenging phase of life. Our UK divorce lawyers are experienced in this matter and will give you all the information you need to make a sound decision.


DV Solicitors

DV Solicitor, a leading law firm in Bedford & London, offers a wide range of legal services including commercial property, corporate, employment, personal injury and human rights/immigration law. Known for their expertise and client-focused approach.
By: DV Solicitors
Date: November 3, 2022

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