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Divorce FAQ

Below are answers to some of the questions we are most frequently asked about Divorce. Please click on a link for more information or contact us for a consultation.

When can I get divorced?

In England you can initiate divorce proceedings after you have been married for one year.

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What are the grounds for a divorce?

There is only one ground for divorce; the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. However, you have to prove irretrievable breakdown with one of five facts.

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separated for two years and both parties consent to divorce
  • Separated for five years without consent
  • Desertion for at least two years

Please see our page on Grounds for Divorce for more information.

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Can I state my own adultery as reasons for a divorce?

No. You will have to ask your spouse to divorce you on this basis or petition yourself based upon a different fact.

Please see our page on Grounds for Divorce for more information.

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How long does it take to get a divorce?

A typical divorce takes between 4 and 6 months, if things are straightforward. Much depends on whether or not your spouse responds quicklycontact us when he or she receives your petition. The divorce may also be delayed due to the division of matrimonial assets as itis best to completely resolve this before you apply for the decree absolute. The divorce could also be delayed by any problems concerning the children.

In general, the more you and your spouse can agree on, the quicker the divorce process will be and economical.

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Will I have to go to court to get a divorce?

Court hearings most commonly arise when agreement cannot be reached on things such as finances and arrangements for children.

In many straightforward divorce cases you will not have to go to court. If the divorce is uncontested and you are able to reach agreement on finances and children, then a formal court hearing is unlikely to be necessary.

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How much does a divorce cost?

The cost will depend on a number of factors. A straightforward divorce with no complications will cost less than one where in depth negotiations and disputes about finances and children are involved. Contact us for a free quotation.

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What if my husband/wife defends the divorce proceedings?

Defending a divorce is very rare and also costly so in the vast majority of cases it is generally not advisable. Defended divorces are extremely rare as people recognise there is little point in trying to keep a marriage alive when the other spouse considers the relationship at an end.

If you issued the divorce petition your spouse could contact usdefend the divorce and likewise if your spouse issues divorce proceedings you could defend them. If a defence is filed there has to be a hearing where the Judge decides if there is enough evidence for divorce.

More commonly someone will dispute the reasons stated for a divorce in the petition, for example adultery or unreasonable behaviour. In these circumstances this may cause a delay in the divorce process or it may mean that a suitable alternative reason has to be found which both parties can agree on. An experienced divorce solicitor will help you to find the most suitable reason when petitioning for a divorce.

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If I move out of the family home, will this affect my rights?

If you are considering moving out of the family home it is always advisable to take legal advice from a specialist family solicitor first. Please contact us for more information.

In general a spouse will not be penalised for moving out of the family home in terms of the ultimate financial settlement.

Although your legal rights are not affected by moving out, other factors will be affected. For example you will temporarily lose access to personal possessions.

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Our Family department staff includes a member of Resolution. Members of Resolution are required to follow the Resolution code of practice which commits family lawyers to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. Instead family law disputes are dealt with in a constructive way preserving people’s dignity and encouraging agreements.

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