Wanting to get a divorce from your husband or wife is never an easy decision but in some marriages, it can be inevitable. Here are a few important things to keep in mind on how to file for divorce from your partner.

If a divorce is the only option for you, you need to be married for at least a year and your relationship has to be permanently broken down. You must reside permanently in England and your marriage must also be legally recognized in the UK.

Arranging Your Own Divorce

This is a possible step and it can be done without involving solicitors in the process. If both parts agree that the marriage has broken down permanently, a court hearing won’t be necessary. The paperwork can be straightforward if both agree on the reasons for divorce.


You can also get mediation to help work out agreements with your husband or wife about property, money and your children. This can be very helpful to avoid going to court.

Grounds For Divorce

You are able to give 1 of the following 5 reasons for a divorce, the court calls these ‘facts’.


Your partner has had relations with someone else and you cannot bear to be with them anymore. This will need to be with someone else of the opposite sex of your husband or wife. It will not count as adultery if they have intercourse with someone of the same sex, this also includes if you are in a same-sex marriage.

This reason can, however, not be used if you have lived with your spouse for 6 months after you’ve found out about their adultery.

Unreasonable Behaviour

This ‘fact’ can be used if your wife or husband are behaving in such a way that living with them is quite difficult. They could be behaving in the following ways:

  • Refusing to pay for housekeeping
  • Drunkenness or drug-taking
  • Physical Violence
  • Verbal abuse, e.g. insults or threats


Your spouse has left you:

  • For more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years
  • To end your relationship
  • Without your agreement
  • Without good reason

You Have Not Lived Together For More Than 2 Years

This is a possibility if you have lived apart from each other more than 2 years and both parts agree to the divorce. The partner has to agree in writing.

You Have Lived Apart For More Than 5 Years

If you have lived away from each other for more than 5 years, that would be enough to get a divorce, even if your spouse does not agree with your decision.

Filing For Divorce

Paperwork needs to be filled for a divorce petition to start the actual divorce, the D8 Divorce form can be found online on the UK Government website, alternatively, you can obtain the form from your local county court office.


The cost of a divorce will vary greatly for each couple but there is a £550 fee to pay when starting the divorce procedure. You will need to pay the divorce centre when sending in the filled in forms. If you have hired a family law solicitor, your costs will also include their fees.

If you are in need of guidance or advice on divorce or children related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our teams in Cambridge or Norwich.