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Divorce in England

One-Stop UK Divorce Legal Services and Consultation

Professional lawyers handling divorce litigation and related procedures (child custody, alimony, family property distribution, etc.)

Can I apply for a divorce
in England or Wales ?

You can get divorced in England or Wales if all of the following are true:

  1. You have been married for over a year;

  2. Your relationship has irretrievably broken down; and

  3. Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK, which includes a same-sex marriage.

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Under what circumstances can one apply for a divorce in court?

Previously, there were five facts to rely upon:

•    Adultery

•    Unreasonable behaviour

•    Desertion

•    Two years separation with consent

•    Five years of separation


Since April 2022, you can apply for a divorce by simply citing that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.  It is not necessary to wait years, or to have to blame your former spouse. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 became law on April 6, 2022, and removed the concept of fault from the divorce process. The new divorce act dispenses with reasons, or ‘facts’ as grounds for divorce, replacing them with a single ‘Statement of Irretrievable Breakdown’ which can be filed by either spouse or both. This means divorcing couples can now file for divorce solely on the basis of the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage without citing grounds for divorce.

Process and Duration

i.    To apply for a divorce under the new divorce law you complete a statement on the divorce petition stating that the marriage has broken down irretrievably


ii.    The person making the application then has 28 days to serve their spouse with the divorce papers – the default method of notification will be via email


iii.    The court must take the statement of irretrievable breakdown to be conclusive evidence that the marriage has in fact broken down irretrievably


iv.    After a minimum 20 weeks ‘reflection period’ and when the applicant or applicants have confirmed they still wish to proceed the court will make a conditional order – previously called decree nisi


v.    Following a further 6 weeks ‘cooling-off’ period the court will grant a final order – previously called a decree absolute to formally end the marriage


Total duration: At least 26 weeks

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