Your Instant Guide to the Grounds for the Granting of a Divorce

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Grounds for the Granting of a DivorceWe appreciate that is always a difficult, often agonising, decision to end a marriage. However, here at Wiseman Lee, our lengthy practical experience in this key area of family law has ensured that, while always treating you with sympathy and understanding, practical advice and professional actions are also what you need.

Apart from understanding the process of a divorce, one of the key areas to appreciate is the valid grounds for which a divorce can be granted. Here, we present a simple guide to each of these. We will also use the clear terms required, appreciating that people often baulk from their use and find gentler ways of expressing them…


A dictionary defines this simply as the undertaking of voluntary sexual relations between a person who is married and somebody other than their spouse. That said, it’s important to appreciate that this will not be accepted as a valid reason if you have lived with that person for six months after discovering their adultery.

Unreasonable behaviour 

In this case, your spouse has behaved so badly that you feel you can no longer bear to live with them. Such circumstances could include either physical violence or verbal abuse (perhaps the issuing of threats or insults). Regular drug-taking or alcohol abuse and refusing to contribute fairly to the household expenses are also possible reasons.


This refers to circumstances where your spouse has left you without either your agreement or a valid reason for doing so. Alternatively, divorce is possible if they have left you for more than twenty-four out of the last thirty months. Another possibility is where your spouse has left for the specific purpose of ending your relationship.

Living apart 

The final pair of grounds for divorce both come under this heading. The first is the circumstances where you have both lived apart for more than two years. Here, both parties must be willing for the divorce to proceed, and you would need to obtain such agreement in writing from your spouse.

The second possibility is that you have lived apart for more than five years. In such circumstances, you will usually be granted your divorce whether your spouse is in agreement or not.

How we can help 

No matter which of the grounds described above you feel would fit the bill for your divorce to go ahead, it is up to you to demonstrate that these provide the good reasons required by a court. This is only one of the many areas of divorce law where it pays to use the professional services of our hugely-experienced legal team here at Wiseman Lee.

In such difficult times, we know that sound judgement and a balanced view can be difficult goals for those involved to achieve. We understand the emotion, but also know that the law deals in facts and offers judgements. Allow us to help you gather and present the facts in order to gain the judgement you want. Contact us now for a sensitive discussion of your personal situation.

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