Do I have to wait 2 years for a divorce?


I would like to get divorced but do I have to wait two years?


Andrea Boulter, Family Solicitor replies:

No, you do not have to wait two years. You can apply for a divorce if you can prove to the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to adultery or unreasonable behaviour.  These are both immediate and you would not need to wait two years.

Adultery and unreasonable behaviour are fault based divorces which means that one person will need to blame the other for the end of the marriage. However, if you do not want to point the finger of blame in this way and wish to keep things be amicable, the two year wait may be preferable. The divorce is then made on the basis of the separation and it is not just one person’s fault that the marriage has ended.

Whatever you choose, reaching an amicable agreement with regard to children and finances is very important. Your first port of call should be a Solicitor who specialises in Family Law and who is a member of Resolution.  Resolution is a Family Solicitor organisation.  Members are committed to reaching agreement between the parties in divorce disputes with contested Court proceedings being a last resort.

If you do decide to wait two years, then I would recommend that you have a Separation Agreement put in place. This is a written document for a couple who have decided to stop living together.  It sets out what is going to happen upon your separation such as how you wish to divide the finances and property.  It can also include arrangements for any children and, if necessary, a clause ‘not to molest, annoy or disturb the other partner’.  This agreement can then lead seamlessly into a divorce in two years’ time.

If you have a query or would like to book an appointment please get in touch with our First Contact team on 01256 320555 or email