Automatic Divorce After 7 Years UK – Everything You Need To Know

Obtaining a divorce after 7 years of separation may appear to be a simple and uncomplicated operation; yet, it may present more complications than other reasons for divorce, such as 2 years of separation with both parties consent or unreasonable behaviour.

In this post, we will go over all you need to know about the rules for getting a divorce after a 7-year separation.


What Grounds Does a “Divorce After 7 Years” Hold?

The law is extremely clear. Contrary to common opinion, there is only one legal justification for granting a divorce to a couple. Their marriage has irreparably broken down. Where the misunderstanding arises is that for a marriage to be judged irretrievably broken down, at least one of five grounds must be met:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years of separation with permission.
  • You’ve been separated for five years, and only one of you is ready to divorce.
  • Adultery

Five years apart is one of five eligible grounds for divorce in the UK to demonstrate why your marriage has irreparably broken down. As we all know, 7 years is longer than 5 years. So, you may divorce after 7 years on the basis of a 5-year separation.

If the divorce is agreed upon and the parties are in communication, it may be a quick and straightforward method to terminate your marriage without bitterness or blaming one another.

It allows you to achieve a speedy divorce without having to go to court or hire expensive lawyers. This is the most straightforward strategy to cut the expense of your divorce.


Automatic Divorce in the UK

automatic divorce after 7 years uk

There is really no such thing as an “automatic” divorce. You can file for divorce for a variety of reasons, two of which are based on a two-year separation and a five-year separation.

If you have been separated for two years, you can go through the divorce procedure and acquire a divorce on the basis of two years of separation. However, both parties must agree for the divorce to move forward on this basis.

If you are unable to reach an agreement, you may have to wait five years or more before filing for divorce. For this reason, you do not require the other party’s consent to divorce. It is not automatic; you must go through a process. If you follow the steps correctly, it may be a rather simple process.

It is a fallacy that you may obtain an automatic divorce after five years of separation without the involvement of your spouse. If you are unable to locate your ex-partner, you must demonstrate to the court that you have done your best to find them.

This means that, even if you have been separated for 15 years or more, there is no such thing as an automatic divorce. Regardless of what you believe or have been told, you cannot divorce without the consent of the other party.

In practice, the most prevalent grounds for divorce are infidelity and unreasonable behaviour. This essentially signifies that one of the partners has had to accept responsibility for the relationship’s failure.


Possible Situations To Be Considered For A Divorce After 7 Years In The UK

Reasons for divorce

If you don’t have an address for your spouse or they are unlikely to comply, claiming five years of separation as your basis for divorce might be complicated.

Couples who do not have children together are more likely to lose contact, especially after 7 years apart.

It’s crucial to note that even if you don’t have your spouse’s permission or agreement, a divorce can be granted based on five years of separation. Below are some other situations that may arise in the course of filing for a divorce after 7 years in the UK.

  • If you don’t know where your spouse lives
  • If your partner consents to the divorce,
  • If your ex-partner refuses to comply,
  • If you wish to manage your funds after a divorce,

1. If You Don’t Know Where Your Spouse Lives

Regardless of whether you have been separated for 7 years or more, your ex-partner must be given the option to react to the divorce petition.

As a result, for this to happen, you must demonstrate to the court that you have attempted to locate your spouse using a variety of different methods, such as social media, relatives, friends, and occasionally even national databases.

This is where seeking a divorce after five years of separation gets more difficult and expensive.

If you don’t have an address for your husband or wife, you have three viable possibilities.

  • Apply for a court order compelling a government agency to reveal your spouse’s address if they are thought to be in the United Kingdom.
  • If your spouse resides overseas, you can apply for a waiver of service. You must still demonstrate that you attempted to locate your spouse in this scenario.
  • If you know the address of a close family member or a coworker, you can request that the divorce papers be served on someone else.

2. If Your Partner Consents to the Divorce

If you know your spouse’s address and they are likely to react to the divorce petition, the process becomes faster and easier, and hence less expensive.

When there is collaboration, the divorce procedure will be the same as in all other situations, and in most situations, you may achieve a divorce in 5–6 months.

If you have a low income or receive assistance, you may be excluded from paying the court fees, which are established by the government and are now £593.

3. If Your ex-partner Refuses to Comply

If your ex-partner refuses to comply, you must show the court that they were served with the divorce petition.

You must either request that the court serve the papers directly or employ a separate process server to serve the papers to your spouse. Most people think this is a difficult process, but it is actually rather simple.

The court service costs more than £100, and most private process servers charge between £100-£150. Both options will allow you to proceed with your divorce. However, the process service option is typically faster.

Here are some servers that can help you track and  serve the divorce petition to your spouse

You can then file a statement of service and your decree nisi application when your ex-partner has been served by any of these services.

This will demonstrate to the court that your spouse was personally served with the divorce petition, allowing you to proceed with your divorce process.

In some situations, invoking unreasonable behaviour as grounds for divorce may be a more convenient choice than a separation caused.

4. If You Wish to Manage Your Funds After a Divorce

Finances are frequently a source of contention in divorce, with spouses arguing about property, money, pensions, and other assets.

If you are still in communication with your spouse and have reached an agreement on a financial settlement, you can apply to the court to have it made legally enforceable through a financial consent order.

After splitting for 7 years, it is normal for partners to lose contact, especially if there are no children or assets such as properties in the marriage.

It is best to deal with your finances concurrently with your divorce because getting a decree absolute does not end your financial ties as a husband or wife.

If you don’t know the address of your ex-partner or if there is no agreement, you can ask the court for a financial order.

The application cost is £255, and you may be required to attend court sessions to discuss your affairs. Yet, this is the only legal method to divide your assets and money.

Obtaining a financial order eliminates any future and prospective claims and provides both parties with peace of mind over their resources following a divorce.


Top Sites That Can Help with A Divorce after A Long Separation in the UK

Here are some sites that can assist with a divorce after a long separation in the UK;

1. Phillips Law

At Phillips, they have a team of Family Law solicitors who are always available to support you through the process. They are here to offer advice that you can trust, especially when it comes to your children, home and straightening out your finances.

They will listen to your worries and discuss your options, letting you know what your rights are and also those of your former partner.

Whatever the issue you face, they can help you and your family find a way forward.

For more information please contact Hayley by calling 01256 854633 or by emailing

Alternatively, you can click here to go to their contact page.

2. Divorce Online

Divorce-Online family law experts are usually asked the question “Can you get an automatic divorce after a long separation?” The simple answer to this question is “regardless of how many years you have been separated from your ex-husband or wife, there is no such thing as an automatic divorce in England or Wales”.

So, whether you have been separated for 5 years, 7 years, 10 years or more, you will not be granted an automatic divorce.

Under UK divorce law, your former partner must have the opportunity to see and comment on the divorce papers.

For more information, call their divorce advisors for a free consultation on 01793 384 029.



So, the answer to the issue of whether or not you can automatically get a divorce after being separated from your spouse for seven years is “No.” You cannot automatically get divorced, but you can still apply for a divorce with your spouse’s approval.

Do check out the blog page for more articles like this.

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