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.
In this blog, I’ll be covering what you need to know if you are going to ‘rely’ the on two years separation grounds for divorce. Unfortunately, ‘no-fault divorce’ is not an option in English and Welsh law but two years separation is often referred to as being the closest equivalent. Two years separation is the most amicable way to divorce as it doesn’t require either of you to blame the other, you also have to agree to the divorce together.
There are five facts in total you can rely on to prove your marriage has broken down irretrievably;
What is the ‘two years separation’ grounds for divorce?
The legal system in England and Wales defines two years separation as living separate lives for more than two years. It does not mean you have necessarily lived as two separate households. If you have lived separate lives but under the same roof for all or part of the two years (for example due to financial constraints or for the sake of children) you can tick a box on the divorce petition to say you have had separate sleeping and domestic arrangements whilst living at the same address. You can have had periods of living together as long as they do not add up to more than six months and you have been apart for least two years altogether.
So once you have agreed together that this is the route you’d like to take, where do you start? In order to begin the proceedings, both of you must confirm in writing that you agree to the divorce and that you have been separated for two years. You will need to provide details of the addresses you have lived and the dates you lived there since separating and leaving the family home.
The next step will vary depending on your preference as there are a few options. The chart below shows the range of these options from low cost to high cost and from the amount of control you will have. Divorce is daunting, at amicable we offer a free, no obligation chat with one of our divorce experts so feel free to get in touch for more advice.
To actually get divorced legally there are three main things you will need to sort out:
We’ve written a different article that covers the full divorce process in England and Wales here. If you’d like more information on the grounds for divorce or advice on your personal situation then please click here to book a free 15-minute advice call.