Divorce Laws

Under the laws governing England and Wales in order to have grounds for divorce you must have been
married for at least a year, and also be able to establish that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, because one or more reasons or 'facts' for the breakdown of the marriage can be listed as grounds for divorce.

The five facts 'that can be used as grounds for divorce under the English and
Welsh divorce laws are:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Desertion
  • 2 Year Separation
  • 5 Year Separation

Because the facts for divorce are based on a single ground for divorce
– that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, two points will be examined
to confirm that this is the case:

1. Whether a person has declared their intention not to continue with the marriage
2. Whether their actions support this declaration.

The divorce laws in Scotland are significantly different from those of England and Wales. Under Scottish law, the facts applicable to proving the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage are different, and an additional ground for divorce can be used.

The alternative ground for divorce under the Scottish laws is that you or your spouse are a transsexual who has an interim gender recognition certificate. An interim gender recognition certificate can be obtained by applying to the Gender Recognition Panel and starting the process of legal recognition of your newly acquired gender.