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Grounds for divorce

In order to proceed with a divorce, there must be at least one valid reason recognised by the law, which shows the marriage has broken down permanently. These are:

  • Adultery (within six months of filing for divorce)
  • Unreasonable behaviour (e.g. physical violence, verbal abuse, alcohol/drug abuse, refusing to pay toward the maintenance of the home)
  • Desertion (without your agreement, without good reason, to end the relationship, for more than two years in the last 2.5 years)
  • You have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to end the marriage (must be agreed in writing)
  • You have lived apart for more than five years (even if not agreed)

Complex Divorce Fact Sheet

Divorce can be a difficult time due to the emotional impact it has on both sides, as well as on children, extended family members and even friends, so complex financial issues only add to the strain. This is why your legal team must be one that you can trust with all aspects of the proceedings on a personal level as well as professionally, ensuring a transition that is as smooth, compassionate and efficient as possible.

Divorce or annulment?

There are two ways to end a marriage: annulment and divorce. Annulment is only an option if the marriage is not legally valid (e.g. at least one party was underage or already married) or deemed defective (e.g. not consented to or unconsummated). Divorce can be chosen without these prerequisites, but the marriage must have lasted at least one year and be beyond repair.

Types of financial matters

During a divorce, the following need to be taken into account where applicable:

  • Pensions
  • Business Interests
  • Family Businesses
  • Investments and Tax
  • Inherited Wealth
  • Property Portfolios

It is essential that all financial issues are thoroughly looked into and properly distributed, keeping hostility between parties and disruption to domestic and working lives to a minimum.

Child Welfare

The minimisation of the effect your divorce has on your children must always remain a top priority. Even when there is a good reason for divorce, the situation can affect the child’s mental health, dietary habits, sleeping patterns, education and social life, so responsibility and due care are required at all times.

Dividing marital assets

If the parties have not achieved a negotiated agreement, the Court will apply its own discretion to the allocation of marital assets. The grounds for divorce rarely affect this decision; instead, the needs of any children and the following factors will be taken into account:

  • The income of each party and any pension entitlements.
  • Each party’s financial needs.
  • The length of marriage – the longer the marriage, the more likely that the Court will be in favour of financial equality.
  • The contribution each party has made to the domestic environment – looking after the home and children can be seen as equally important as earning a salary.
  • Standard of living – preservation for both parties and any children will be a main priority.


Patience and understanding

At Banner Jones we pride ourselves on not only our professional expertise and abilities, but also our empathy and sensitivity during complex divorce cases. However, our main advice would be for both parties to also adopt these virtues, as this will reduce stress, aid mutual agreements and ultimately make the proceedings less complicated.

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