In most countries, in order for a marriage to be ended legally by divorce, there are certain grounds for divorce required as proof that the marriage is compromised. However, such laws and grounds differ from one nation to another, but we will mainly focus on the UK legislation and explain the legal process for divorce in the UK.
Understanding the grounds for divorce in the UK legal system
By definition, marriage is the unity of two persons which, at the given time, agree on a certain set of rules to follow and live by, as a whole. Unfortunately there are certain situations in our lives when the term "until death do us part" becomes obsolete, thus the unity between the two is broken. In the UK, legally speaking, the divorce grounds are filed under two categories, the Fault divorce, and the No Fault divorce.
Grounds for divorce defining the Fault Divorce
The Fault divorce occurs when one spouse blames the other for the dissolution of marriage. In order for the Fault divorce to occur, proof must be presented, which can back up one or more of the following divorce grounds:
- Adultery – when one spouse can present proof that his or her partner has engaged in sexual intercourse with a third person.
- Unreasonable behaviour – when proof concerning misbehaviour, physical or mental abuse of the other spouse is presented.
- Inability to have sexual intercourse – although this case is not very common, presenting proof that the partner cannot engage in sexual intercourse due to impotency can lead to Fault divorce.
- Felony – If one spouse has been sentenced to one or more years in jail
- Abandonment – If one partner has abandoned the other for more than a year.
Grounds for divorce defining the No Fault Divorce
Besides the Fault divorce, which strictly implies that at least one of the partner's behaviours led to an unsuccessful marriage, under the No Fault Divorce system none of the above mentioned divorce grounds must be met or proven in order for the marriage to be ended legally. The No Fault Divorce can take place whenever one of the partners declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken down, and no further investigation is required in order for the court to end the marriage in legal terms.
There are also a number of divorce grounds which can be filed under the No Fault divorce, such as:
- Mental instability – If a spouse has been institutionalized in a mental institution for more than three years.
- Living separately – If the spouses have lived separated from each other for three years or more.
Unfortunately, the UK marital legislation makes divorce a long, tedious and stressful process. Plus, there are numerous other reasons that might compel you to file for divorce, reasons which might not match any of the grounds of divorce listed above – so the next best course of action is to contact your lawyer and explain your problems in detail, to find the best solution.