In order to obtain a divorce, you need to prove, via a Divorce Petition, that your marriage has irretrievably broken down by relying on one of the following:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion for a period of two years or more
  • That you have lived separately for a period of two years or more (and your spouse consents)
  • That you have lived separately for a period of five years or more.

Once the Divorce Petition has been sent to court to be issued (together with the court fee), a copy will be served to the other party, who must complete an Acknowledgement of Service confirming that they have received the Divorce Petition and file this at court.

You then need to apply for Decree Nisi, which is the first stage of divorce proceedings. This means that the grounds for divorce have been approved by a judge and you are entitled to a divorce.

Once Decree Nisi has been pronounced, you must wait a minimum of 6 weeks before applying for Decree Absolute, which formally dissolves a marriage. However, we often advise clients to delay making an application for Decree Absolute if there are good reasons to wait until financial matters have been resolved.

Click here to download our divorce procedure flowchart.