Do I have to get a divorce?
Question & AnswerDo I have to get a divorce?
3. Show your marriage has ended
You can only get a if there has been a breakdown in your marriage. The law says there are 3 ways to prove this:
- You and your partner have lived separate and apart for at least one year.
- Your partner committed adultery. This means they cheated on you with another person. You cannot apply for a divorce based on adultery if you're the one who cheated.
- Your partner treated you with such physical or mental cruelty that you can't tolerate living with them anymore.
The most common way to show a breakdown in your marriage is to prove that you and your partner have lived separate and apart for at least one year. This is usually easier to prove than adultery or cruelty.
You can live with your partner again for up to 90 days within this year if you're trying to reconcile and get back together. If you and your partner are not able to get back together, it won't affect the one year separation period. You can do this before or after you start the court application for a divorce.
You can apply for a divorce as soon as you separate. You don't need to wait for a full year to pass before you start your court application. But the court won't give you a divorce until one year has passed.