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What are acceptable reasons for divorce?

Quickie Divorce’s customers regularly ask our advisers whether or not they believe the reasons they’re divorcing their husband or wife are acceptable. In some instances, these people want to know if their reasons are legally acceptable and if a judge will be sufficiently satisfied to grant them a divorce. Others are seeking assurance that the cause of their marital dissatisfaction are reasonable and justified. Whatever they’re reason for asking us this question, though, we have the answers.

What are the legally acceptable reasons for divorce

There are a total of four legally acceptable reasons for divorce, each will need to be accompanied by certain information in order for the application to bring about the end of the marriage. These reasons are:


Adultery takes place when a married spouse willingly engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex. Surprisingly, other sexual acts do not constitute adultery, nor is it legally considered to be adultery if a spouse has a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex.

In order to successfully obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery, the spouse applying for the divorce will need to state when they discovered the adultery had taken place, how they found out and the date in which they and their spouse then separated.

Unreasonable behaviour

Unreasonable behaviour is used when someone has behaved in such a way that their husband or wife feel that they cannot remain married to them anymore.

When filing on this ground, it is necessary to provide at least four examples of unreasonable behaviour. Most importantly, the applicant must state how this behaviour negatively affected them.

Two-year separation with consent

As the name suggests, this ground can be used when a couple have been living separate lives for more than two years and they both agree to a divorce.

When filing on this ground, the only information the courts will need is the date on which the couple began living separate lives.

Five-year separation

Like the reasons discussed previously, this ground is equally simple and can be cited when a couple have been living separately for more than five years. Unlike the reason given previously, though, there is no need for both parties to agree to the divorce.

Again, the only additional piece of information required when these grounds are relied upon is the date the couple separated and began living apart.

What about morally acceptable reasons for divorce?

The decision to end a marriage is one that is so often fraught with doubt and uncertainty that it should come as no surprise to hear that the people that are going through it sometimes seek assurance that they’re doing the right thing; that their decision to divorce won’t be viewed as superfluous or reactionary. When a customer queries whether or not we feel that their decision to divorce is the right one, we always advise them to consider whether their marriage was making them happy. If they can honestly say that it wasn’t, then their decision to divorce is, in our opinion fully justified.

If you have any other questions about divorce, click here to request a call from one of our advisers today.

Comments 2

me and my husband have been separated over 2 years now. due to unreasonable behaviour. please can you advise how much it would be to get divorced? we have no financial commitments or children thank you

rhianan wren

Please call our advisers on 0800 803 0813 - they'll be happy to provide you with more information and answer any question that you may have.

QD Admin