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Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce

There are often many questions surrounding divorce when you initial start the process. We have listed some of the most frequently asked questions below. Click on a link to see the answer or contact us for more information.

Do I have to go to court to obtain a divorce?

In the divorce process court hearings typically arise when an agreement cannot be reached on issues such as arrangements for children and finances.

If the divorce is straightforward and both sides are able to reach an agreement then you will not have to go to court.

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How long does it take to complete a divorce?

If things are straightforward a divorce takes between 4 and 6 months.

A lot depends on if your partner responds quickly when they receive the divorce petition.

The divorce may also be delayed due to the separation of matrimonial assets, as it is best to resolve these matters fully before you apply for the decree absolute which marks the end of the marriage. The divorce could also be delayed by problems which concern the arrangements for children.

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

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What legal grounds have to be met to get a divorce?

To gain a divorce you prove show that the marriage has broken down irretrievable. You must show this by demonstrating one of the following five facts.

You can see more information on our grounds for divorce page.

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How long do we have to be married to get a divorce?

The law states that in England you must have been married for at least one year before you can start the divorce process.

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Can I claim my own adultery as a reason for divorce?

You cannot claim your own adultery as a reason for divorce. If this is the case, you would have to ask your partner to divorce you on this basis. Alternatively, you can petition yourself based upon a different fact.

You can see more information on our grounds for divorce page.

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What is the cost of legal fees for a divorce?

The overall cost depends on a number of elements. A straightforward divorce with no complications will cost less than one where disputes about finances and children are involved and complex negotiations are required. You can read more about the cost of a divorce on our divorce costs page.

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Will my legal rights be affected if I move out of the family home?

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

Although your legal rights are not affected by leaving the home, other factors may be affected. For example you are unlikely to have any control in the sale, your spouse may deny access and you have the expense of alternative accommodation.

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

If you would like to discuss an issue with one of our family law solicitors, please contact us and one of our specialist team will be happy to advise you.

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What happens if the divorce proceedings are defended by my spouse?

Defended divorces are extremely rare as people commonly recognise that there is little point in trying to keep a marriage alive when the other person considers the relationship to have ended. It can also be very costly, so in the majority of cases it is not advisable.

If a defence is filed there has to be a hearing where the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence for divorce or in the case of a cross petition (where the other spouse has declined the reasons for divorce and put forward their own reasons) whether either or both have adequate grounds for a decree to be granted

Usually a draft petition will be sent to the other party for comment before it is sent to the court, in the hope that an agreed petition can be lodged instead.

Our experienced divorce solicitors will help you to find the most suitable reason when petitioning for a divorce.

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