We read last week the sad news that Jamie and Louise Rednapp have divorced after 19 years of marriage. Former popstar and Strictly finalist Louise cited ‘Unreasonable behaviour’ as the grounds for divorcing ex-footballer Jamie. A court judge granted them a decree nisi after concluding their marriage had irretrievably broken down. To read more on this celebrity couple break up click here.

Divorce is an incredibly emotional and stressful life event for anyone, especially when children are involved. It is vital to gather as much information and expert help as possible when thinking about filing for divorce.

You can be granted divorce in England and Wales if you:

  • have been married at least a year and your relationship has irretrievably broken down.
  • have a marriage that is legally recognized in the UK – this includes same sex marriages.
  • have a permanent home in England or Wales.


Divorce – A court decree that terminates a marriage; also known as marital dissolution.

Decree Absolute – A court of law’s final order officially ending a marriage, enabling either party to remarry.

Decree Nisi – An order by a court of law stating the date on which a marriage will end unless a good reason not to grant a divorce is produced.

Grounds for Divorce

When you file for divorce you will need to cite one of the following five reasons to prove your marriage has broken down:

Adultery – Your husband or wife has had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex. However if you have lived together as a couple for more than 6 months after finding out you cannot use this as a reason for divorce.

Unreasonable behaviour – Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them. This could include: physical violence, verbal abuse (such as insults or threats), drunkenness or drug-taking, or refusing to pay for housekeeping.

Desertion– Your husband or wife has left you:

  • without your agreement
  • without a good reason
  • to end your relationship
  • for more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period.

You have lived apart for more than 2 years – You can apply for a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce. Your husband or wife must agree in writing.

You have lived apart for more than 5 years – You can apply for a divorce if you’ve lived apart for at least 5 years, even if your husband or wife disagrees.

Our family law solicitors have extensive experience in helping couples get through this difficult time by making sure all processes run smoothly. We will always maintain decorum in what sometimes can be ‘uncivil proceedings’.

To find out more visit our website