There are 5 reasons for divorce that commonly get mixed up with grounds for divorce. The Court will want to establish which reasons have led to the marriage breaking down. These reasons are then recorded on the divorce petition.

In divorce proceedings, the person asking for a divorce is called the ‘Petitioner’ and the person who is being divorced is called the ‘Respondent’. The petition is the legal document that sets out the reasons for the divorce and the procedure is relatively straightforward.

When granting a petition for a divorce, the Court needs to be satisfied that one or more of the following reasons are present:

  1. Adultery – That the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with him/her.
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour: That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
  3. Desertion – That the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
  4. 2 Years Separation (with consent) – That both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of two years (which immediately precedes the presentation of the petition) and that the respondent consents to the divorce being granted.
  5. 5 Years Separation (without consent) – That the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.