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Your Divorce Questions Answered

When you start the divorce process, there are often lots of questions which you would like answers to. Outlined below are some of the most frequent questions we are asked, simply click on a link to see the answer or if you have any questions and would like more information please contact us.

What are the legal grounds for a divorce?

To gain a divorce you need to prove that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. 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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Can my own adultery be a reason for divorce?

Your own adultery cannot be stated as a reason for divorce. If this is the case, you would have to ask your spouse 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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How long do we have to have been married we can get a divorce?

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

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

Not necessarily, court hearings usually arise when an agreement cannot be reached on matters such as arrangements for children and finances.

In most cases, where a divorce is straightforward, you will not have to go to court. If the divorce is not challenged and you are able to reach an agreement on the finances and child arrangements, then a formal court hearing is unlikely to be necessary.

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What is the cost of a divorce?

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

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How long does a divorce take to come through?

Usually, if things are straightforward a typical divorce takes between 4 and 6 months.

A lot depends on if your spouse responds quickly when they receive your divorce petition. The divorce may also be delayed due to the separation of matrimonial assets, as it is best to resolve these matters entirely 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 spouse can agree on, the quicker the divorce process will be.

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Will my 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 my partner defends the divorce proceedings?

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 a 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 divorce 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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