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Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions that we are frequently asked about Divorce. Click on a link to see the answer or contact us for more information.


What are the grounds for divorce?

The only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. You have to prove the breakdown by using one of the five following facts:

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

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When can I get a divorce?

You can begin divorce proceedings in England after you have been married for one year.

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How long does it take to get a divorce?


The time taken to get a divorce will often depend on other factors, such as agreeing a financial settlement and issues involving children. The divorce itself can take between 4 and 6 months, if things are straightforward.

If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the above matters then the divorce can take longer.

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

In many cases you should not 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.

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 of your divorce 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 quote.

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I have committed adultery; can I use that as reason for the divorce?

Unfortunately not. 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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What if my husband / wife defends the divorce proceedings?

Defended divorces are quite rare as people usually recognise that there is little point in trying to keep a marriage alive when the other spouse considers the relationship at an end. contact us

If a defence is filed by the spouse being petitioned, there has to be a hearing where the Judge decides if there is enough evidence for divorce.

More common is where someone will dispute the reasons stated for a divorce in the petition, for example where adultery or unreasonable behaviour is alleged. In these cases 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?

You should always take legal advice from a specialist family solicitor first.

In general you 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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Two members of our Family law team are members of Resolution.resolution family lawyers
Members of Resolution are required to follow the Resolution code of practice which commits family lawyers to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way, preserving people’s dignity and encouraging agreements.