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How Long Do I Have to be Separated Before I Can Divorce?

20th February 2017

By Family Law & Divorce Solicitor Lucy Hart

For initial divorce legal advice call our Divorce Solicitors on 03306069626 or contact us online and we will help you.

In English Law there is no time limit on when you can start divorce proceedings, but for the fact that you have to have been married at least a year. It is not a requirement that you live in separate homes.

Grounds for Divorce

It’s quite common for people to say Grounds for Divorce but in England and Wales there is only one Ground for Divorce: that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This has to be evidenced by one of the Five Facts of Divorce shown below. One of our Divorce Solicitors can advise you on which is the best option in your circumstances and what type of Divorce Petition will allow you to divorce in the most cost-effective and straightforward way.

Broadly speaking the Five Facts of Divorce are that:

  1. The other person has committed adultery
  2. The other person's behaviour is unreasonable so that you find it intolerable to live with them
  3. That you have been separated for two years and you both consent to the divorce
  4. That you have been separated for five years
  5. That the other party has deserted you

So you can proceed with a divorce on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, even if you are not actually separated, or if you have been separated for less than two years. This means that many couples find that they start divorce proceedings on the basis of unreasonable behaviour, even if they are still on very good terms, as this is the only option open to them if they do not want to wait two years.

Our Divorce Solicitors can advise on what is the best option for your particular circumstances, the effect of a divorce on your financial situation, and the arrangements for your children. There are implications to consider if you want to wait for two years to divorce as you will not be able to have a legally binding Financial Settlement in the meantime.

We can also advise you on how best to proceed with a divorce immediately on the basis of unreasonable behaviour or adultery if you are on good terms with your spouse to ensure that there is no animosity between you and matters can be concluded swiftly and amicably.

Sometimes it's important that you are the person to start the divorce proceedings as then you will have more control over the timescale. We can ensure that you receive the best possible legal advice. If necessary, we can draft urgent documentation and make urgent applications to Court to protect your position.

At Co-op Legal Services our Fixed Fee Divorce costs £600 including VAT and provides you with a Divorce Solicitor to help you through the usual steps in an uncontested divorce. For contested divorce our Divorce Solicitors offer fixed hourly rates starting from £210 per hour including VAT.

Call our expert team of Family Solicitors and Divorce Lawyers on 03306069626 or contact us online and we will call you.

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