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Cardiff Divorce Solicitors



The Law

Grounds for Divorce

The most important thing to know before you start divorce proceedings is that you have acceptable grounds for divorce. This is shown by proving your marriage has irretrievably broken down, due to one or more of the following “facts”:

  • adultery
  • unreasonable behaviour
  • two years separation with consent
  • five years separation
  • desertion

In practical terms, this means:


This is when one spouse has had voluntary sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse. This can sometimes be difficult to prove, unless there is factual evidence such as the birth of a child. Unless adultery is admitted, it often preferable to base the proceedings on another “fact”

There is no requirement to name the third party in the divorce proceedings. Indeed, this is very much discouraged nowadays, since it only serves to increase acrimony, not to mention legal costs!

If you remain living with your spouse for more than 6 months after you discovered the adultery, you cannot use adultery as the basis of your divorce. Also, you cannot start divorce proceedings based on your own adultery.

Unreasonable behaviour

This is decided by a mixture of an objective and subjective test, designed to prove that your spouse has behaved in a way that means you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her anymore. Because the test is objective and subjective, the range of behaviour which can be cited is extremely wide. Obvious examples would be domestic violence but it can go as far as your spouse not paying you enough attention, or failing to support you in your hobbies/career etc. The examples of behaviour need to be strong enough for a Judge to agree they warrant a divorce.

Two years’ separation with consent

There are 2 requirements here:

  1. you have lived apart from your spouse for a continuous period of two years before the divorce proceedings are started; and

  2. you both agree to the divorce

Five years separation

You have lived apart from your spouse for a continuous period of at least five years before any divorce proceedings are started.

Living separately doesn’t necessarily have to mean living in separate properties. You can have lived in the same house for (some or all of) this time period, as long as you can prove the normal relationship has ceased. For example, if you sleep in separate rooms, do not eat together, do not do household chores together etc, you can still be considered as living separate and apart (ie in separate households).

Separation “fact” based divorces are closest we have in this jurisdiction to “no fault divorces”


This “fact” is very rarelt relied upon in divorce proceedings these days.You must demonstrate cohabitation has ceased and has been brought to an end by your spouse against your consent. Your husband or wife must not have had any reasonable cause to have left and it must have been for a minimum of two years before you can commence proceedings.


If you need a Cardiff divorce solicitor then why not contact Alun Jones Family Law?


We are here to help you resolve family disputes amicably.


The Procedure     Practical Tips     Common Divorce Misconceptions

If you require expert advice during your divorce contact us today.