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Home Grounds For Divorce Divorce After 2 Years Separation in England & Wales

Divorce After 2 Years Separation in England & Wales

If you’re considering divorce and you have been separated for a period of 2 years you may be able to obtain a quick and easy divorce if parties are in agreeement.

Although this grounds for divorce is the most amicable way to end your marriage, there are important legal definitions you need to be aware of surrounding your separation that we cover in this article.

What's covered on this page

    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.

    megaphoneNo-Fault Divorce Is Now Divorce Law – The divorce law in England and Wales has changed to give way for a no-fault divorce. This means, from 6 April 2022, you no longer need to wait for a period of 2 years of separation or blame one party for the breakdown of your marriage. It is not possible for the other party to contest the divorce, allowing the divorce to proceed without friction or additional costs.

    Speak to our friendly team on Live Chat for quick and reliable answers to your questions or call us on 01793 384 029 for no obligation information and advice on how no-fault divorce works.

    It was a straightforward and simple way to end your marriage, proving 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 you have indeed been separated for 2 years or more.

    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 divorce solicitors are required, 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 along with Separation Advice for Divorcing Couples, 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 grounds for divorce is Unreasonable Behaviour.

    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 £792 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.

    Your legal fees for preparing the divorce documents can be as little as £59 with Divorce-Online, but the most popular service is £199.

    We can also deal with a financial clean break by consent as part of your service from £199.

    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.

    Commonly Asked Questions…

    Can you get a divorce without your spouse’s consent?

    In England and Wales, you can get a divorce without your spouse’s consent once you’ve been living separately for at least a sustained period of 5 years.

    Do I have to be separated for 2 years before divorce?

    You can file for divorce after you’ve been married for 12 months (1 year). Unreasonable behaviour and adultery are the grounds available to you should you seek a divorce before being separated 2 years.

    Can a 2 years separation divorce be done without consent?

    It cannot. Using the grounds of 2 years separation, there must be consent from both parties. The respondent must sign the acknowledgement of service form that is sent to them by the court.

    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?

    There 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 £199 without attending court or hiring high-street solicitors.

    View our No-Fault Divorce Service for £199

    This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.