Important update: in April 2019, the government confirmed that England & Wales will (at some point) change the current laws and introduce no-fault divorce. The information in this blog is still valid until the laws change, however when this will be has not yet been confirmed. For updates on no-fault divorce, please enter your email address below and we'll alert you about any important changes.
Desertion in English and Welsh law is defined as one person in the marriage deserting the other for a continuous period of at least two years. This basically means that one person has left the other without agreement or for a good reason.
Desertion is rarely used because it can be hard to prove as it relies on proving the intent was there. You must prove that the mental intent to divorce was there throughout the two years. This is hard to do. This is why more people tend to use either two years separation, five years separation or unreasonable behaviour as the fact to rely on. Here’s a quick breakdown of these reasons so you can see if they are more relevant to you:
No, you can start proceedings without the consent of your ex.
If you have an address for your ex you can start proceedings. Don’t know where your ex is and can’t get in touch with them at all, not even online etc? The courts will want to see that you have attempted to get in contact with them. Get in touch for more advice on this part.