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Divorce and separation

If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s important you seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure you understand what to expect.

Below is a succinct guide to the divorce process and what’s involved.

  • Grounds for divorce
  • Separation
  • Mediation
  • Financial matters
  • The cost of divorce

For more information, please call QualitySolicitors Lawrence Hamblin on 0808 2749 822. We’ll advise you on the best way to proceed and of the likely costs.

Grounds for Divorce+

In order to file for divorce you must be married for at least a year. Marriages can end for various reasons and whatever the reason may be for you, we’re here to provide expert, sympathetic help and advice.

There are five key grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery: When your spouse has had sex with another and you no longer wish to be with them
  • Unreasonable behaviour: When a spouse’s behaviour becomes intolerable. This could include excessive drinking, drug taking, gambling or violent behaviour
  • Desertion: Refers to your partner leaving without good reason or to end the relationship
  • Two years’ separation: Is when you have lived apart for at least two years. Here, you must both agree to the divorce
  • Five years’ separation: If you have lived apart for five years or more your partner does not have to agree to the divorce
Marriage Annulment+

A marriage annulment is a declaration made by the court that your marriage is invalid, and is an alternative option to divorce.

You do not need to wait 12 months for the process to begin and arrangements for children and finances are dealt with in the same way as a divorce. Unlike divorce, however, all annulment cases go to court.

Annulments can be granted for various reasons, including:

  • If you or your spouse were already married
  • If either of you were under 16 at the time of marriage
  • If the wife was pregnant with another man’s baby and the husband didn’t know
  • If you didn’t conform to the correct legal requirements, for example, not filling in the forms properly

In some instances, you might not want to immediately consider divorce. Our solicitors, based in and around Reading and Henley-on-Thames, will ensure you understand your options and enable you to make the best decision for you.

We can help you to put a separation agreement in place and provide guidance if you’re considering a trial separation. Whether you then decide to rebuild your relationship or make the separation permanent, we can help here too.

QualitySolicitors Lawrence Hamblin offers confidential, friendly family law advice at a time and location that suits you. Call us now on 0808 2749 822 to find out more about your options.


If you and your partner can agree on financial matters and arrangements for children, the divorce process will be smoother and less upsetting.

In some cases, however, compromise can be tough. In these instances, mediation can help.

Here, the two of you can come together with an expert to try and find a solution that works for both parties.

To discuss whether you might require mediation services, call us now on 0808 2749 822.

Financial matters+

When a marriage breaks down, coming to an agreement on financial matters can be tough.

QualitySolicitors Lawrence Hamblin will help to ease these difficulties and enable you to come to an agreement with your partner.

Whether you’re looking for advice on child maintenance payments, household payments, or formalising your decisions in a financial settlement, our team can help.

The cost of divorce+

The cost of divorce can vary depending on the complexity of your case.

There will be initial court fees of £550 to start proceedings. If you cannot agree on financial arrangements, you’ll have to pay a further £255 fee for financial proceedings.

Lawyers’ fees for advice and/or representation start from £600 (including VAT, but not including court fees). Call Lawrence Hamblin now on 0808 2749 822 to find out more about our fees.


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