5 reasons you can give for divorcing in the UK

In the UK, the five acceptable reasons are adultery, desertion, living apart for at least two years, living apart for at least five years and unreasonable behavior.


If one or both partners have been involved in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, then the grounds of adultery can be used. Using adultery as a reason can only be applied if the divorce request takes place within 6 months of the adultery being uncovered. The reason for the time limit is to prove that the other spouse cannot stand to live with their partner as a result. Only sexual relations with the opposite sex is covered by the adultery reason in a UK court. Therefore, the submission of unreasonable behavior may be appropriate if the spouse is found to have been unfaithful with a member of the same sex.

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Unreasonable behavior

A submission of unreasonable behavior is a common option that applies to any behavior as a result of which you can no longer bear to live with your partner. This includes mischievous or illegal behavior such as alcohol or drug abuse, and domestic abuse, be that physical in nature or psychological, including threats, bullying, and manipulation. Another example of behavior that does not make sense can include things like infidelity, or refusing to pay in to reasonable household expenses.


You may be able to cite desertion as your reason for divorce if your spouse has left you without your consent and without a good reason, or to end your relationship. If your spouse has been away from the family home for over two years in a period of 30 months, it is possible you won’t require their consent to the divorce. Get help and advice with any divorce related matters with a Gloucester Solicitor like deeandgriffin.co.uk/

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Living Apart for More Than 2 Years

You can also file for divorce if you and your partner have spent more than two years of living apart shortly before the divorce. However, as with the filing of desertion, you may have been living together for six months during this period. Your spouse also must agree in writing to the filing.

Living Apart for More Than 5 Years

Just like the two-year separation reasons, the final choice has the advantage of not requiring the consent of your spouse. If you can show that you have lived apart for more than five years, the court will usually grant the divorce on the grounds.

Personal problems

No matter how unusual your reason may seem to outsiders, the core of the matter is that no one should feel compelled to stay in a relationship where they are not happy.

Divorce is a very personal thing, and this can make choosing your reason challenging, especially if neither party wants to blame. There is no option for a no-fault divorce in the UK , having lived apart for two or five years is the closest option but is not always practical in most cases.