No Infidelity Grounds for Divorce in the UK

The cornerstone of the majority of marriages is a strong and personal connection, and an active sex life is often crucial to couples, not only during the early period of passion, but even after marriage. Barclay devere Mediation East London

So, what can one do if there is no intimacy in their marriage? Is “lack of closeness” a cause for divorce? Can I divorce my wife if she refuses to sleep with me?

This article will discuss if it is possible to file for divorce due to a lack of intimacy and whether divorce is the only solution for a sexless marriage.

Conventional Divorce Grounds in the UK

From 1973 until April 2022, the grounds for divorce in England and Wales were irretrievable breakdown of the partnership, backed by proof of at least one of the following:

  • Unreasonable conduct
  • Desertion for at least two years
  • Adultery
  • Living apart for a minimum of two years when both parties agreed to the divorce
  • Living apart for at least five years if one spouse does not agree to the divorce.

So, while lack of intimacy as a cause for divorce in the United Kingdom was not one of the allowed facts to substantiate the petitioner’s case, the petitioner might often use it to accuse their spouse of unreasonable behaviour. In many instances, having to choose one of the five reasons causes a quarrel, and family mediators were once responsible for facilitating dialogues on this very sensitive subject.

No-Fault Divorce From April 2022

But, divorce law in England and Wales was drastically altered in April 2022, removing the necessity to assign blame. So, it is no longer necessary to demonstrate “fault” in your spouse’s behaviour, such as a lack of intimacy, in order to file for divorce. This is beneficial for family mediators since it frees up time to address future child and financial arrangements.

How can I Maintain My Marriage in the Absence of Intimacy?

Some clients who seek out family mediation believe that mediators will address this problem, however we leave this sort of discussion to relationship therapists, psychologists, etc. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that there are choices available to persons who are considering divorce due to a lack of intimacy. If you do not necessarily desire a divorce for this reason alone, the most essential thing is to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about why intimacy has vanished.

Throughout the course of a marriage, it is not uncommon for a person’s sex urge to wane or even cease entirely. It is not always the case that your partner no longer wants to remain with you. Several factors, including life and job stresses, emotional disturbances, and melancholy, might contribute to the issue.

The most critical aspect is initiating a conversation with your companion. This may be a very tough and sensitive subject to approach, and counselling can be an excellent method to begin the discussion.

But, if you believe that your relationship has ended and you want to organise your family life after a separation or divorce, mediation may be the best option. The first gathering is an MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting). You would have a first, private, one-on-one appointment with the mediator in which you would describe the issues you are encountering and the desired solution. The mediator would next have a similar, confidential discussion with your spouse. If all parties agree to continue the session, the mediator will assist you in conducting your talks and keeping them on course.

Without the necessity for a court hearing, you may reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce or separation via mediation. Typically, family mediation assists divorcing spouses in determining visitation schedules for their children and/or future financial arrangements, such as child/spousal support payments.


When a marriage becomes sexually inactive, divorce is not usually the only choice. Several couples maintain a love connection and friendship despite the absence of physical intercourse.

Yet, if one partner is unhappy with maintaining the marriage without the personal aspect, it is essential for the couple to discuss openly about the problem. Mediation may be a very useful means of initiating these dialogues and expressing your desires and wants in an open and productive manner.

If you choose to continue your marriage, a referral to a relationship counselling agency or sex therapist may assist you in adjusting your relationship and getting back on a path where you are both pleased.

If you determine that the absence of intimacy is an insurmountable obstacle to the continuation of your partnership, no-fault divorce makes it simpler to dissolve your marriage. One side does not need to “blame” the other for the divorce. If you and your spouse believe that divorce is the best choice, you may file a joint petition. Even if just one party thinks that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and files for divorce, the other party can no longer fight the divorce.

Although though a no-fault divorce is anticipated to eliminate most of the disagreement and controversy from the divorce itself, there are still essential issues to resolve, such as financial arrangements, how to divide your joint assets, and child custody. Mediation is frequently an effective way to keep these difficult conversations focused, objective, and as amicable as possible in order to present an agreed position to the court and request that it be converted into an order that is legally binding for both parties, either at the time of the divorce or afterward.

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