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Family Law Solicitor discusses Relationship Breakdown

When thinking about what the most common reason that clients cite when seeking a Divorce, many respond that they have grown apart or that they have simply fallen out of love with their husband or wife.

An extra Marital Affair and the other person’s unreasonable behaviour are also common reasons for divorce.

To obtain a divorce or a judicial Separation in England and Wales, it is necessary to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. To establish irretrievable breakdown someone must show one of the following five facts:

  • Your husband or wife has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them
  • Your husband or wife has behaved in such a manner that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
  • You have lived apart for a period of two years and you both agree to their being a divorce
  • Your husband or wife has deserted you for a period of more than two years
  • You have lived apart for five years or more – which means a divorce can be obtained whether or not your husband or wife agrees to such proceedings.

Unless you have lived apart for a period of two or more years, in order to obtain a Divorce in England and Wales, it is necessary to rely upon some form of fault i.e. either the adultery of your spouse or their unreasonable behaviour to obtain a divorce.

It should be noted that the law in relation to divorce is practically the same as that for Dissolution of Civil Partnerships, save that the civil partner issuing the divorce proceedings is unable to rely upon their civil partner’s adultery. It has been argued that this disparity is discriminatory and that the law should be reformed to ensure equality.

For advice about Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnerships please email us: or call us on 0800 916 9055.


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