Once you have made the difficult decision to get a divorce, there are five grounds that can be used in your divorce petition. Grounds for divorce is a legal term used to describe the reason you give on your divorce petition for the ending of your marriage.
The first grounds for divorce is adultery. This means that your spouse had a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex outside of your marriage. The grounds for adultery do not apply for same sex marriages and cannot be used. In addition, if you continue to live with your spouse for six months afterward finding out about the adultery, you cannot use this as the grounds for your divorce.
Next is unreasonable behaviour and this can encompass a whole host of things but in essence means that you cannot bear to live with your spouse anymore. Your spouse could be abusive, whether physically or mentally or they simply could refuse to help out with the financial costs of running a house and having a family. Both of these examples are unreasonable behaviour and could therefore be used in your divorce petition.
The third is desertion which can be used where your spouse left you without you agreeing to the split and without having a good reason to leave you. They will need to have left in order to end the relationship and have been gone for at least two years in the last two and half.
You may seek a divorce if you have lived apart from each other for a period of two years and you both agree that you want a divorce. Your spouse must demonstrate their agreement in writing in these circumstances to support your grounds for divorce.
Lastly, where your spouse does not agree with the divorce, you must live apart from them for a period of five years. This can then be used as reasonable grounds for divorce.
You can see that the five grounds for divorce are relatively straightforward, but your solicitor will give you advice about which one to use in the divorce petition in the event that several apply.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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