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When can I get a divorce?

When can I get a divorceEvery now and then we are asked, “How quickly can I get divorced?” Sometimes, it is not a question of how quick but rather when can you start the process.

The answer depends upon when you actually got married because you have to have been married for twelve months before you can start divorce proceedings.

I’ve only been married a short time – does the same apply?

If you’ve only been married for a number of weeks then you will have to wait until your first wedding anniversary. Even if you have lived together for many years prior to marriage you cannot start divorce proceedings until twelve months have elapsed.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you were married you still need to have been married for twelve months before you can seek to obtain a divorce.

As I’ve been married for a short time will this affect any financial settlement?

The duration of the marriage is one of many factors which the court must consider when making orders over financial matters.

A court may add pre-marriage cohabitation to the length of the marriage, “where the relationship moves seamlessly from cohabitation to marriage without any major alteration in the way the couple live”.

Whilst the court will apply the same factors as it does for long and medium marriages once the parties needs have been met in a short marriage it may well depart from equality of division of the assets.

What if we don’t have any children together?

Where there are no children a court may be justified in returning the parties to the position that they were in immediately prior to the marriage and then dividing the assets accumulated during it equally.

So, is there a difference if we do have children?

Where there are young children, a court will recognise that the primary carer’s contributions to the marriage will continue long after the marriage has ended and adjust any calculation as to who is to receive what accordingly.

Will our finances always be connected?

Whilst the court will strive to achieve a clean break, it is possible that one party may continue to be financially dependent on the other. Where there has been a short marriage, the length of time that one party has to support another may be reduced.

It is important to understand that all cases are different and there is no substitution for specific legal advice on the issues you face.

What to do next

If you have asked yourself ‘when can I get a divorce?’ get in touch today. You may have some questions in which case please do not hesitate to contact us on 01664 498 998 or


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