Irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce
Irreconcilable differences constitute grounds for divorce in some countries. But in the UK, the only grounds for divorce is 'irretrievable breakdown', for one or more of five main reasons we explain below.
Divorce demands legal expertise
Talk to a family law expert todayContact us
Are 'irreconcilable differences' grounds for divorce?
In fact, the only grounds for divorce that our courts currently accept is 'irretrievable breakdown' in the marriage. This has to be due to one or more of the following five reasons:
• Adultery: Where you can prove that your spouse has had a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex
• Unreasonable behaviour: Where your spouse's behavior is so bad that no reasonable person could put up with it
• Desertion: Where your spouse has been absent for more than two years in the last two and a half years without good reason or your consent
• You have lived separate lives for more than two years: This enables you divorce if both of you agree to it
• You have lived separate lives for more than five years: This enables you to divorce even if your spouse wants to stay married
Can I cite unreasonable behaviour in my divorce?
Unreasonable behaviour is one of the most commonly cited reasons to file for divorce. It is relied on if there has been no adultery or desertion and either one or both parties don't wish to wait for two or even five years to elapse before they can file a divorce petition.
Unreasonable behaviour is one example of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
The test for unreasonable behaviour is subjective. This means that as long as you think it is unreasonable behaviour, that is fine. Examples of unreasonable behaviour can include all forms of domestic abuse, whether verbal, physical or financial.
A court will also consider failure to contribute to household costs to be unreasonable, as well as drug abuse or excessive drunkenness. At the other extreme, if you think it is unreasonable that your spouse has not helped you with housework, that is also acceptable because you believe it to be unreasonable.
So if you can no longer tolerate the unreasonable behaviour of your spouse, it may be time for you to talk to one of our understanding and experienced divorce lawyers.
The best solicitors to fight your corner! I struggled with a nasty unmarried couple dispute alone for over a year before biting the bullet and paying for proper legal support. I had one previous experience with a cheaper less well known solicitor and I just felt completely let down and not a priority. But with S&G - from start to finish, I felt supported 100% and valued. B L (family and personal matters case)
Matters were dealt with efficiently with a view to keeping costs to a realistic level and I am well satisfied with the final settlement she managed to achieve on my behalf. J B (family and personal matters case)
For anyone needing help with family issues I could not recommend Slater and Gordon highly enough. I always had the feeling I had the best looking after my interests and they certainly didn't disappoint. C I (family and personal matters case)