McKenzie Friend
Family and Civil Court Support


Disclaimer : Our guides do not in any way constitute legal advice. The guides have been developed by lay people who are not lawyers and have no legal training or qualifications.

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What are the Grounds For Divorce?

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Section 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 states:-

The law on divorce is set out in Part 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (‘MCA’). “MCA 1973, s.1 (1) provides only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down”.

It is not enough however for the spouse who wants to divorce to simply state that the marriage has irretrievable broken down.

There are two requirements.

1. The first is that the petitioner must have been married for at least a period of one year.

2. The second is that the petitioner must establish one of the ‘five facts’, even if it is self-evident that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

a. Adultery

b Unreasonable behaviour

c. Desertion

d Two years’separation with consent

e. Five years’ separation without consent

Philip Kedge is a retired police Chief Inspector and the founder and director of the McKenzie Friend UK Network. His aim is to take family law out of the hands of solicitors with an ethical business to reduce conflict and acrimony, to provide a cost effective McKenzie Friend national service and to reduce the emotional harm to children.