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What are the grounds for divorce in England and Wales?

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

  • You have been married for over a year.
  • Your relationship has permanently broken down.
  • Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK, which includes a same-sex marriage.

Ending a civil relationship is different – see Dissolving a civil partnership.

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.

You will need to decide whether:

  • you want to make a joint application with your husband or wife; or
  • you want to apply on your own.

Since April 2022, there only limited grounds to objecting to a divorce application, such as:

  • objecting to the validity of the marriage; or
  • objecting to the court having jurisdiction.

If you have questions about whether or not you are able to get a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, please contact our matrimonial team on 020 7426 0400 or get in touch by email via our enquiry form.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.