The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Desertion
  • Calculating the two-year period
  • Desertion
  • The intention to desert
  • Absence of consent
  • Absence of reasonable cause
  • Constructive desertion
  • Ways of terminating desertion
  • Offer to return
  • Defective divorce petitions or decrees
  • More...


The Family Procedure Rules 2010, SI 2010/2955 (FPR 2010) have introduced a change in the terminology in divorce proceedings. There are however some inconsistencies between the terminology used in the rules, which use the new terms, and those referred to in the forms which refer to old terms. Divorce proceedings are referred to as matrimonial proceedings.

Proceedings for divorce or a matrimonial order must be commenced by an application for a matrimonial order, still referred to as a petition.

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage may be proved by satisfying the court that the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

The fact of desertion is not as frequently relied on in practice as the other facts on which a petition may be based. In some cases of desertion, tracing the respondent is a preliminary issue. See Practice Note: Service of applications for matrimonial and civil partnership orders within the jurisdiction.

Calculating the two-year period

In calculating the two-year period:

  1. the day on which the separation took place is to be excluded from the two years

  2. no account will be taken in calculating the two years of any two or more periods, not exceeding six months in total, during which the parties resumed living together, but no such period shall count as part of the

Popular documents