How to divorce after 2 years separation

By April 7, 2016
2 year separation divorce image

Divorce after 2 years separation in England and Wales

Commonly referred to as the quickest and easiest ground for divorce, 2 years separation with consent is indeed one of the five available reasons for divorce you are obliged to use when filing for divorce.

Although this ground can be a very quick, easy and amicable way to resolve your divorce, you must approach it with caution and be sure that it’s the most suitable ground for your situation.

Many people believe that they can simply get divorced if they have been apart for 2 years, which unfortunately is not quite the case.

What the law says about a 2 year separation divorce

Divorce law in England and Wales says that you can get divorced if you have been separated for more than 2 years and crucially only if both parties consent.

This is contained in S.1(d) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which says that “the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition (hereafter in this Act referred to as “two years’ separation”) and the respondent consents to a decree being granted.

In plain English, this means that in order to file for divorce using 2 years separation as your ground for divorce you must have lived completely separate lives for a continuous period of 2 years or more.

Common questions we get asked are as follows;

  1. We have stayed living in the same matrimonial home since separating, does this mean we can’t use this ground?
  2. If we haven’t lived apart for 2 years but have lived completely separate lives, do we need to wait until we’ve been separated 5 years before divorcing?
  3. If we can’t use 2 years separation to divorce but we can’t, what other options do we have if we want to start proceedings now?

To find out whether or not you are able to file for divorce using 2 years separation with consent, simply call our divorce advisers today on 01793 384 032.

Key points to note

Firstly, the respondent (the other party) must consent in writing on the correct court form called a D11 form, which will be sent to them by the court’s staff.

The fact they consented to a divorce after 2 years when you split up is not good enough for the courts.

It can be difficult to get a divorce based on 2 years separation if you have continued to share the same house, but we can still help you with this if this fits your circumstances.

People often change their minds during separation and go from wanting one thing to then wanting another, which is normal.

If you think your ex is someone who may change their mind about consenting to a 2-year separation divorce, then you may need to think about issuing a divorce petition on the basis of other facts, such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

Advantages of a 2 year separation divorce

• No requirement to apportion any blame for the breakdown of the marriage.

• Financial matters can be dealt with in advance in a separation agreement.

• Living arrangements for the children can be sorted out in advance of the divorce.

• It helps to keep the cost of your divorce down at a time of stress and pain for most people.

Disadvantages of a 2 year separation divorce

• The respondent may change their mind.

• The respondent may move away with no address.

• Finances could be damaged if no agreement is reached early.

If your situation fits the criteria needed to successfully file a divorce using 2 years separation with consent, you should expect your divorce to cost less than £200 unless you visit a local solicitors firm.

If you would like advice on whether a 2 year separation divorce is right for you, please call 01793 384 032 and speak to a friendly adviser or click below to read more.

View our Managed Divorce Service


  • Roy Evans says:

    I am seeking advice on a quick divorce.

    • Mark Keenan says:

      Hi Roy, we can certainly help you with that. We are experts in quick and amicable divorce and have helped thousands of people since 2003. The best way to get advice on getting a quick divorce based on 2years separation is to call us on 01793 384 032, or let me know more specifically what advice you are looking for? Thanks

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