Can you get an automatic divorce after a long separation?

Hayley Eachus who heads the Family Law team at Phillips Solicitors incorporating Brain Chase Coles is frequently asked, “Can you get an automatic divorce after a long separation?”

Divorce After Two Years Separation

There is no such thing as an “automatic” divorce.  You can apply for divorce on a number of grounds, two of those are based on separation of two years or more.

If you have been separated for two years a divorce process can be followed and a divorce obtained on the ground of two years separation, however both parties must agree for a divorce to proceed on this ground.

Divorce After Five Years Separation

If you cannot come to an agreement, then you can wait five years before you can start the divorce.  You do not need the other party’s consent to a divorce on this ground, but still a divorce is not automatic; you need to follow a process.  If you get the process right it can be relatively straightforward.  The team at Phillips can advise you on the process and assist in obtaining your divorce.

In practice, the most common divorce petitions we see are based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour. This basically means one of the partners has had to attribute blame for the breakdown of the relationship.

No-Fault Divorce

The government has re-introduced its Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which is intended to bring in a system of no-fault divorce. However, this is still to be passed by Parliament and there is no sign of this happening for the time being, while the government grapples with issues concerning the coronavirus and Brexit.

It is still possible to discuss with your ex the unreasonable behaviour particulars that would have to go in to the petition to try and keep things amicable and ensure a divorce can happen sooner rather than later so the more important issues; the children and finances can be dealt with.

Nevertheless, whether you come to an agreement or not, divorce is often a deeply emotional, upsetting, and difficult time.

We Can Help You

It can be hard to stay calm and consider the implications, such as who keeps the house. This can be complicated as this depends on various issues, from the needs of the children to the financial history of the marriage.

At Phillips we have a team of Family Law solicitors who are on hand to support you through the process. We are here to give advice that you can trust, particularly when it comes to your children, home and sorting out your finances.

We will listen to your concerns and discuss your options, letting you know what your rights are, as well as those of your former partner.

Whatever the issue you face we can help you and your family find a way forward.

For more information please contact Hayley by calling 01256 854633 or by emailing [email protected]

Alternatively click here to go to our contact page.

During these difficult times our Town Gate office in Basingstoke is temporarily closed to visitors unless by prior appointment when meeting in person is essential. However, thanks to our lawyers being able to work remotely, Phillips remains fully open for business and can discuss your legal matters by telephone and video conference.



This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.