Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989
Application for a decree of judicial separation.
2.— (1) An application by a spouse for a decree of judicial separation from the other spouse may be made to the court having jurisdiction to hear and determine proceedings under Part III of this Act on one or more of the following grounds:
( a) that the respondent has committed adultery;
( b) that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;
( c) subject to subsection (2) of this section, that there has been desertion by the respondent of the applicant for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application;
( d) subject to subsection (2) of this section, that the spouses have lived apart from one another for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application F1 [ … ];
( e) F1 [ … ]
( f) that the marriage has broken down to the extent that the court is satisfied in all the circumstances that a normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the application.
(2) In considering for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, whether—
( a) in the case of paragraph (c) of that subsection, the period for which the respondent has deserted the applicant, or
( b) in the case of paragraph (d) F1 [ … ] of that subsection, the period for which the spouses have lived apart,
has been continuous, no account shall be taken of any one period (not exceeding 6 months) or of any two or more periods (not exceeding 6 months in all) during which the spouses resumed living with each other, but no such period or periods during which the spouses lived with each other shall count as part of the period of desertion or the period for which the spouses have lived apart, as the case may be:
Provided that this subsection shall only apply where the spouses are F2 [ living apart from one another ] at the time the application is made.
(3) F2 [ ( a ) For the purposes of this section —
(i) spouses who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the spouses do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and
(ii) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature. ]
( b) In this section “ desertion” includes conduct on the part of one spouse that results in the other spouse, with just cause, leaving and living apart from that other spouse.