Grounds for Divorce

Divorce means an end of a marriage, essentially it ends the legal contract of marriage. Divorce does not become final until Decree Absolute is pronounced by the court. The pronouncement of a Decree Absolute cancels all legal rights, duties and responsibilities of the spouses.

The divorce process does not include making final arrangements for children or financial settlements. These arrangements have to be dealt with either by agreement between by the or by applications to the Court if agreements cannot be reached amicably.

What is the ‘ground’ for divorce?

The main ground for a divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However the person applying for the divorce must choose one of five facts to prove that the relationship has broken down:

  • Adultery: A partner has had voluntary sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex and it is intolerable to live with them any longer.
  • Unreasonable behaviour: A partner has behaved in such a way that a person cannot be reasonably expected to live with them any longer.
  • Desertion: A person has been deserted by their partner for a period of 2 years.
  • 2 years separation with consent: A couple have lived apart for at least 2 years immediately preceding the divorce and there is consent to the divorce being granted.
  • 5 years separation: A couple have lived apart for at least 5 years immediately preceding the divorce and for this, no consent is required.
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