Divorce

In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce and that is – that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The fact of such irretrievable breakdown must be evidenced by one (or more) of five supporting facts:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion for 2 years
  4. Separation for 2 years with the consent of the other spouse to the divorce
  5. Separation for 5 years

Before filing a petition for the dissolution of a marriage the spouses must have been married for at least 1 year.
Either party is entitled, further to the commencement of formal divorce proceedings, to apply for financial provision whether by way of a maintenance order, a lump sum payment or an adjustment of their interest in property, pensions and other assets owned solely or jointly.

Dissolution

If a civil partnership is effectively a gay marriage, then dissolution is essentially a gay divorce. In order to dissolve a civil partnership one of the civil partners must petition the Court for a dissolution order. Under the Civil Partnership Act, there is only one ground for dissolving a civil partnership and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the civil partnership which is evidenced by one of the following four supporting facts:

  1. Unreasonable behaviour.
  2. Desertion for 2 years.
  3. Separation for 2 years with the consent of the other civil partner to the dissolution.
  4. Separation for 5 years.

No proceedings for a dissolution order can be commenced until 1 year from the date of the civil partnership registration.
Either party is entitled further to the commencement of formal dissolution proceedings to apply for financial provision whether by way of a maintenance order, a lump sum payment or an adjustment of their interest in property, pensions and other assets owned solely or jointly.