3 Key Causes of Divorce in the UK and How You Can Avoid Them

While the number of divorces in England and Wales remains lower than its early 1990s peak, 2020 saw over 103,000 divorces, according to ONS data. Not only can divorces be stressful for you and your loved ones, but can also prove costly – a London-based divorce solicitor can set you back as high as £500 per hour!

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Understanding the triggers of divorce can be a good idea for anyone considering getting married or who is already betrothed. Read on to learn about some of the most common causes of divorce in the eyes of the law – and what you can do to avoid them.


In the eyes of the law, adultery happens when one partner has sexual intercourse with another individual, and their spouse believes they can no longer live with them as a result.

For a divorce to be filed as adultery, the paperwork must be filed within six months of the intercourse being discovered, filed by the wronged party, and the individual outside of the marriage must be someone of the opposite sex. Civil partnerships and same-sex marriages cannot use adultery as a reason for divorce.

These restrictions mean that many couples use the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ category when filing for divorce due to infidelity taking place.

To prevent your marriage from succumbing to adultery, it’s important to pursue transparency and trust – alongside having the willpower to honour the commitments you made at the altar. If you are feeling the urge to commit adultery, consider seeking support as it’s likely there are other issues at play.

Lack of communication

Not being able to communicate with your partner is a common cause of relationship breakdown. Married couples spend a significant amount of time together and must work as a team to make decisions, resolve issues, and generally build a life together. Without communication, doing these things is very difficult.

A lack of communication can manifest itself as relationship issues including adultery or excessive arguing. On its own, communication isn’t a legal reason for divorce, however, it may result in unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion (when one partner leaves the other for two or more years), a two-year separation with consent from the other partner, or a five-year separation with no consent from the other partner.

A lack of communication can be tackled, however. If you find yourself disagreeing with a partner or arguing with them, do not become defensive and instead work to understand why the argument is taking place and how the right can be wronged.

Always conduct these conversations face to face as opposed to over text or phone so you can properly read one another, and nothing is taken out of context. And if the fighting is constant, consider seeking couples’ therapy through a provider such as Relate.

Lack of readiness

A lot of marriages break down simply due to marrying too soon. In the passion and excitement of an early relationship, they get married without considering their long-term compatibility. As a result, the relationship is broken apart due to fighting and resentment. Similar to a lack of communication, there is no legal divorce category for a lack of readiness.

Preventing this cause from affecting your marriage is all about preparation. Before you marry, consider whether you and your partner are compatible. Are you both truly emotionally ready to be married? And do you have the same hopes and dreams?

Relationships are often complicated, but with calmness, consideration, and communication, you can navigate even the choppiest waters. Do you have any relationship advice? Let us know in the comments section.


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