It goes without saying, you and your partner must be separated for at least five years. You do not need your spouses consent to petition on this fact.
If you have found a solution for both to stay at the same address and live separatly, the court will look closely at your living arrangements to decide whether you are ‘separated’ in the eyes of the law. There can be more than one household at the same address, but you may need to answer to the court that you sleep in separate parts of the house, eat and pay bills separately. The court asks you to explain the domestic circumstances when you separated. If you feel this may be hard to show, then perhaps Unreasonable Behaviour would be a more suitable choice.
Does my partner have to agree?
No, your partner doesn’t have to agree to start divorce proceedings if you are relying on five years separation. You must provide an address, however, for the court to send them the divorce petition.
No Address for Spouse
If you don’t have an address for your spouse, the process will be slightly longer and more expensive, but not impossible.
Here are the options available to you:
- If you know the address of a family member or friend or their work address. You can apply for them to be served to this address.
- Apply for a court order against a government department to divulge the current address of your spouse. Assuming, you believe they are living in the UK, or they are a UK citizen.
- Apply to dispense with service of the divorce petition if your spouse is abroad and cannot reasonably be found through normal channels. You need to provide reasonable proof that you have tried to find their address but have been unable to do so.
Call Divorce Negotiator for advice to which reason to divorce will suit you best.