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Divorce: frequently asked questions

Do I have to be married for a certain amount of time before I can apply for divorce?

You are unable to apply for divorce until you have been married for 12 months.

Do the grounds for divorce still apply?

No. Since the introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act on April 6 2022, you do not need to prove to the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. The five facts that were grounds for divorce (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with consent, desertion and five years separation) are not applicable in the revised divorce process.

I can’t find my marriage certificate. Am I still able to get divorced?

Yes but you would need to obtain a further copy from your place of marriage or the register office.

I got married abroad and my marriage certificate is not in English what should I do?

You will need a translation together with a sworn statement by the translator confirming the contents are correct.

What should I do if I have lost touch with my spouse and do not have a current address?

The court will expect you to show that you have made reasonable attempts to locate your spouse as they need to be aware of the proceedings. If all avenues have been exhausted you can make an application to dispense with service to allow the divorce to proceed.

My spouse doesn’t want the divorce and is unlikely to cooperate with the proceedings. Can I still get divorced?

Yes, you can still get divorced even if your spouse does not want to by submitting a sole application for divorce. Your spouse does not need to agree to the divorce – they will only be able to dispute the application if they dispute the jurisdiction you have applied in, the validity of your marriage, or if they believe the marriage has already been legally ended.

I have my conditional order. When can I apply for my final order?

You have to wait six weeks (42 days) before submitting your application, although in practice most people will want to wait until such time as financial matters are agreed.

Contact a specialist divorce solicitor

For more information and guidance about the process of divorce and separation, please contact us online.


Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
View profile for Rayner Grice >

Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
View profile for Adam Maguire >

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