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Can I get divorced in England and Wales?

Can I get divorced in England and Wales?

In order to obtain a Divorce in England or Wales, you and your spouse must a) have been married for at least one year b) have grounds for divorce, c) meet the residence rules; and d) have a marriage recognised as valid by UK law.

In order to obtain a Divorce in England or Wales, you and your spouse must meet ALL of the following criteria. You must:

a) have been married for at least one year

If you have only recently married and wish to divorce then you must wait until at least 12 months after the date of the marriage before you can issue divorce proceedings. You may be able to get the marriage anulled (cancelled) under certain circumstances.

b) have grounds for divorce,

The only ground four divorce in England and Wales is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage which must be proven by establishing one of thes five 'facts':

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Five years separation
Read further information on grounds for divorce.

c) meet the residence rules.

If you have both lived in England and Wales for the past year then you should qualify to get divorced here. If not then you need to check the residency rules to determine if you qualify.

d) have a marriage recognised as valid by English law.

The English courts can only grant a divorce if you have a marriage that the courts legally recognise.


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