You must have been married for at least one year before you can get divorced.

If your marriage breaks down before you have been married for a year, you have the option to separate until the end of the first calendar year. 

However, you would need to come to an arrangement over how you will support your spouse or be supported by your spouse and look after any children during this period.  We would always recommend you make these decisions having taken advice from a solicitor.  You should also document what you have agreed once you have reached an agreement.

If you have been married for more than a year, there are certain requirements you must meet before you file for divorce.  The first is to be able to prove your marriage has irretrievably broken down for one of the following reasons:

1. Adultery

Your spouse has had sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex and, as a result, you no longer find it tolerable to live with them.

2. Unreasonable behaviour

The way your spouse behaves/has behaved means you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.

3. Desertion

Your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years.

4. Separation

Either you and your spouse have been living apart for at least two years and both agree to the divorce, or you have been living apart for at least five years but either you or your spouse does not consent to the divorce.

If this blog has raised any questions you would like to ask our family law barristers, please contact us today.

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