Grounds for Divorce in England

Traveling through other countries gets me wondering what divorce is like here as opposed to in India. What is interesting about divorce in England are

the reasons for applying for divorce. On a perfectly simple website  of the government of UK, in language easily understandable by the common man they have the following justifications listed.

Grounds for divorce

You must show there are good reasons for ending your marriage. You can give 5 grounds for a divorce.


Your husband or wife had sex with someone else of the opposite sex, and you can no longer bear to live with them.

You can’t give adultery as a reason if you lived with your husband or wife for 6 months after you found out about it.

Unreasonable behaviour

Your husband or wife behaved so badly that you can no longer bear to live with them.

This could include:

  • physical violence
  • verbal abuse, eg insults or threats
  • drunkenness or drug-taking
  • refusing to pay for housekeeping


Your husband or wife has left you:

  • without your agreement
  • without a good reason
  • to end your relationship
  • for more than 2 years in the past 2½ years

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period.

You have lived apart for more than 2 years

You can get a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce.

Your husband or wife must agree in writing.

You have lived apart for more than 5 years

Living apart for more than 5 years is usually enough to get a divorce, even if your husband or wife disagrees with the divorce.

Fascinating, isn’t it? The simplicity of it compared to the convoluted laws regarding divorce in India. Any website with divorce information is couched in incomprehensible legalese as if to make it impossibly difficult to divorce.



About Kalpana

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I write about it and show you pictures either through my photography or through the pictures I paint with my words. I read books and write fiction. During working hours I teach English as an Additional Language. I edit.

Posted on December 17, 2013, in Breaking Up, Divorce and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. interesting !! Travelling to various countries make us compare and notice so many things .

  2. I’m surprised you need grounds for divorce in the UK at all! In the US you don’t, which makes perfect sense to me (since you don’t need grounds for marriage either). Most states do have a mandatory separation period….in the conservative states it can be a year….but that’s got nothing to do with grounds, as in even the most serious domestic violence victim will have to be separated for that long before filing for divorce.

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