Get more time to pay with Klarna.

Divorce After 2 Years Separation in England & Wales

Table Of Contents

    What was the two years separation grounds for divorce?

    Divorce after 2 years separation was effectively the only no-fault ground for a divorce in England and Wales before the introduction of the new no fault divorce law.

    From 6 April 2022, it is no longer possible to file for divorce on the basis of 2 years separation. There is now only one grounds for divorce and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

    This ground previously enabled someone to present a divorce petition to the court on the basis that they have been separated for 2 years or more and that both parties consent to the divorce in writing.

    A divorce based on 2 years of separation used to take 5-6 to complete, however, now the average timescale for divorce is 6-7 months regardless of the reason why your marriage ended.

    Tool – Which Service V3 Tool (Updated April 2022)


    Unsure which service you need?

    Use our quick tool below to find the ideal service for you.

    Do you or your spouse live in England or Wales?

    Are you struggling to find the right service?

    Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    Do you need to split any money or assets?

    Need help? Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    Have you started a divorce application yet?

    Need help? Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    Did you answer 'no' to splitting your finances because...
    We have already split our finances
    We have no assets to sort out

    Need help? Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    What are you looking to do?
    Just looking to divorce
    Divorce and end all financial claims

    Need help? Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    Please beware: Getting a divorce does not end your financial ties! Your ex would be entitled to claim against any future property you purchase, any savings, pension funds you build up and so on.
    I am fine with that
    I want to stop future financial claims

    Need help? Request a callback or speak to us on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers.

    It was a straightforward and simple way to end your marriage, providing that;

    • Both parties are in an agreement to divorce.
    • You provide the court with exact details on your living arrangements.
    • The Respondent acknowledges the court and formally agrees to proceed.

    The Respondent has to sign an acknowledgment of service form indicating that they consent to the divorce and that they confirm they have indeed been separated for 2 years or more.

    It was a mechanism to get a quick divorce when most other grounds for divorce didn’t facilitate one, such as 5 years separation divorce.

    You will need to provide the court with the addresses you have lived at and the dates you lived there since separating and leaving the family home.

    Whilst in most cases this will involve one party moving out of the house, this is not always possible. You need to prove that you have been ‘living separately’, but not necessarily in separate houses.

    What constitutes ‘living apart’ and is it possible to do so while living in the same household?

    If you have lived in the same property during your separation, you must prove to the court that you have been living completely separate lives.

    Living apart under the same household means that you don’t share, for example, finances, meals, social engagements and a bed.

    You need to show the Judge that you do not intend to live with your spouse again and that you view the marriage to have ended for the 2-year period to commence.

    The simple answer is yes, it is possible to divorce whilst living in the same household.

    However, the court can be strict on discounting your living arrangements if you have continued to live together for any period of time during your two years of separation.

    It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to instruct divorce solicitors, but because a detailed statement of your living arrangements may be required to persuade the court that you have been living separately, it’s always best to get advice before proceeding yourself.

    If you find yourself in this situation we recommend reading our article separated but living together, where we offer separation advice and cover all aspects of marriage separation.

    Pros & Con’s to using 2 years of separation to divorce


    Because there is no blame put on either person, it can be the most straightforward and simple way to divorce without causing acrimony.

    And as you are likely in communication with your spouse, you can ensure that all court paperwork is processed efficiently.

    So, essentially, it enables you to obtain a quick and easy divorce without souring the relationship, which is what most couples are looking for.


    The biggest downside to using 2 years of separation is the fact that it requires the consent of your spouse.

    The court will need formal and written consent from your spouse via what is known as the ‘Acknowledgement of Service’.

    If they do not respond to the court in a sufficient time then your divorce cannot proceed and you’ll need to complete a new divorce petition (delaying your divorce procedure).

    An alternative ground for divorce is Unreasonable Behaviour.

    It’s important to remember that there is no automatic divorce after a long period of separation, so if your marriage has broken down beyond repair, it can often be quicker and easier to deal with sooner rather than later.

    How much does this type of divorce cost?

    The cost of divorce after 2 years of separation will be considerably cheaper if you can do it with mutual consent and avoid lawyer fees.

    The typical cost of a divorce after two years when there is an agreement is £850 in legal fees and court fees.

    The court filing fee is currently £593 unless you are on low income or certain benefits, which must be paid at the point in which you file for divorce.

    We can also deal with a financial clean break by consent as part of your service from £249.

    So the cost of your divorce does not have to run into thousands of pounds.

    Would you prefer a divorce that costs less than £200 and finalises 3-months quicker than the national average? Of course, you would. Use our quick and easy online tool to find out which divorce service is right for you.

    Using Divorce-Online can help you cut the costs of your divorce

    We will advise you on whether your situation is right to proceed on this ground or whether it may be better to explore another ground.

    Divorce doesn’t need to be stressful, long-winded, or expensive. We can handle your entire divorce process for you including the drafting of your living arrangements.

    Please call 01793 384 029 for free advice and information on how we can help you obtain a quick and easy divorce regardless of your circumstances.

    Our 2 years separation divorce service is the ideal service for obtaining a divorce with the consent of your spouse as we deal with everything for you and keep you updated throughout, leaving you to carry on with your life without the stress and worry of dealing with your divorce.

    completing online paperwork

    Ready to Start Your No Fault Divorce?

    It is no longer necessary to wait for a period of 2 years before submitting a divorce application. We can help you obtain an efficient and simple divorce for £249 without attending court or hiring high-street solicitors.

    View our Online Divorce Service for £249

    Was this article helpful?