Divorce and separation is a very difficult decision to make and should never been taken lightly. We at Sunrise Solicitors are aware of the sensitivity in this matter and every individual is in a different situation.

Sunrise Solicitors will advise and assist for the individuals needs. We will advise you on the grounds of divorce and the law and procedure for your case.

If you are the Respondent in the proceedings, we at Sunrise Solicitors will assist you accordingly and advise you on any complications if any.

We at Sunrise Solicitors will advise and assist you on the full procedure to finalise your divorce.

5 Grounds for divorce

There are 5 grounds for divorce which are as follows;

You have to show the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that either one or both of you feel that you cannot stay married to each other. Either of you may apply to the court in England and Wales for the marriage to be dissolved as long as you have been married for one year at least and that one of you has been a resident here for the year before your application is made. The application to the court is called a Petition and the spouse who files (sends) the Petition is called the Petitioner. The other spouse is then called the Respondent.

  1. Adultery - Your husband or wife has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with him or her. In most cases you prove adultery by your husband or wife admitting it. If not, you will need to speak to your solicitor. (If you carry on living with your husband or wife for more than six months after you find out about the adultery, you will generally not be able to use this as grounds for divorce unless the adultery is continuing.)
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour - Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her. This covers all sorts of bad behaviour. You need to think about the main things that have made your husband or wife difficult to live with. These are summed up in the petition (the application for divorce) in a few short paragraphs. We will aim to send a draft copy to your spouse's solicitor for agreement.
    As with adultery, you cannot rely on single events that took place more than six months before you file your petition, if you have lived together since then unless previous incidents have occurred.
  3. Desertion - Your husband or wife has deserted you for a period of more than two years. Desertion means leaving your husband or wife without his or her agreement and without good reason
  4. 2 years separation - You have lived separately for more than two years and your husband or wife consents to the divorce. This is often called a 'no-fault' divorce. You can have had periods of living together as long as they do not add up to more than six months and you have been apart for least two years altogether.
  5. 5 years separation - You have lived separately for more than five years. Your husband or wife does not need to agree to this. They cannot defend this Petition but they can ask the court not to grant the final decree because of a major financial or other type of hardship.

How long does the divorce process take?

This varies from court to court and from case to case, depending on the complexity of the case. As we have said, at best, it can take six months but cases can drag on for considerable lengths of time. We will help to reduce this stressful period of time when disputes about finances and children have to be considered together with the legal process.

Our team at Sunrise Solicitors will assist you from start to finish in your divorce matter taking into consideration your individual matters and satisfying your needs.


If you do not wish to begin divorce proceedings then we will advise you with the separation option.

To be separated, all you have to do is live apart. There are many couples who decide not to divorce but you should carefully consider your options with our Solicitor. It is commonplace to make a Deed of Separation to record any agreement regarding financial matters, children and plans to divorce or not. Care needs to be taken before signing any document as this could be relied upon if a divorce takes place at a later date. If you have both received legal advice, the court would prefer not to overturn the agreement at a later date provided that you had both been honest and there has not been any change in your circumstances.

When you are living apart, you are classed as separated by the Inland Revenue and by the Benefits Agency.