Skip to the main content



Divorce after 15 Years of Separation in the UK

 August 2023

Separations can last for years before one spouse decides that the time is right in their life to get divorced. In England and Wales, there is a misconception that after 15 years of separation, divorce is automatic.

In this article, our family law solicitors look at the legal and practical considerations for divorce after 15 years of separation in the UK.

Initial Discussion

This summary provides general information and does not constitute legal advice on any individual circumstances. 

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134 or email us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

Understanding Divorce After a 15-Year Separation

Whether you have been separated for 5 years or 15 years you still need to apply to court for a divorce to legally end your marriage.

If you separated 15 years ago you may have been reluctant to start divorce proceedings for various reasons. Divorce law has radically changed over the last few years with the introduction of no-fault divorce proceedings.

The No-Fault Divorce Court Process

The no-fault divorce process involves filing an application for divorce and a statement that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You do not need to explain the reasons behind your separation. If you or your estranged spouse has a new partner, then they are not part of your divorce and do not need to be referred to in the divorce paperwork.

Sometimes divorce proceedings are not started at the time of separation because one spouse does not want a divorce. That could be for a whole host of reasons. If that has put you off from commencing divorce proceedings it is important to understand that in the no-fault divorce process, a husband or wife has only limited grounds to oppose a divorce. Unwillingness to get divorced is not a valid objection under the new divorce law.

Financial Settlements After a 15-Year Separation

Financial settlements after 15 years of separation may be very straightforward or complicated.

A simple financial settlement might involve converting a separation agreement that you signed at the time of your separation into a binding financial court order. This can normally be achieved without either one of you attending a court hearing.

A more complex financial settlement might involve one spouse saying that they want a share of their estranged spouse’s assets. That may be because they did not get a share of the equity in the family home at the time of the separation. It may be because a family business has quadrupled in value or simply because your estranged spouse has health issues preventing them from working.

Family solicitors recommend that if you have been separated for 15 years that you talk to a specialist family lawyer before starting no-fault divorce proceedings.

Together We Part Service

If you and your spouse separated amicably, or you have resolved the differences leading to your separation over the years, you may both want to sort out obtaining a final order of divorce and a clean break financial court order as quickly as possible.

The Fullers Family Law Together We Part service enables a divorcing couple to both see the same solicitor to obtain the help they need. If you are focused on amicable resolutions so you can both move on with your lives, our Together We Part service may be a good option for you to explore.

Specialist Family Law Legal Advice

Seeking specialist family law legal advice is essential to navigate the complexities of divorce and financial claims after a 15-year separation. Every family situation is unique, and a family law solicitor will provide the bespoke guidance and support needed to obtain your divorce.

How Can Fullers Help?

We understand that finding a solicitor that you feel understands your own specific situation can be a daunting task. So, you can book a free call back with us here.

We have also created a series of fixed-price consultation meetings with a full ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee promise.

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134, filling in the contact form below, or emailing us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

Book a Free Callback


Share this page:

Our expertise & accreditations

Our highly qualified lawyers are members of Resolution, working to their code of practice, encouraging sensitive and cost-effective solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, including the interest of any children.

resolution - first for family law
resolution - collaborative family lawyer
resolution - mediator
Cyber Essentials - Certified
The Law Society accredited - Family Law
Lexcel Accredited
Investors in People

We have offices in Bedford, Milton Keynes and are currently looking to relocate our office in Northampton. We also have offices in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and London.