Family Law & Divorce

Divorce & Civil Partnership

Trust HK Law for expert divorce legal advice.
If you’re going through a divorce, then our expert legal team will empower you to make informed decisions with our client centric service and dedicated support.

Why seek legal advice

Going through a relationship breakdown can be an overwhelming and difficult time, with emotional, financial, and family considerations all needing to be resolved.

We can support you throughout the process with clear, rational legal advice. Our specialist lawyers will help you understand your options and will guide you to reaching the best outcome for you and your family.

We offer a complimentary Discovery Call with one of our family law experts as your first step to clarity and empowerment.

  • Know your rights
  • Make informed decisions
  • For clarity and understanding
  • For expert guidance
  • Support with financial arrangements
  • Support for married and cohabiting couples
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Family lawyer Dorset

Why choose HK Law?

If you’re going through a divorce, then our expert legal team will empower you to make informed decisions with our client centric service and dedicated support.

Our team of experienced lawyers can help with all aspects of divorce, including applying for a divorce, financial settlements, distribution of assets, and pensions arrangements.

  • Free Discovery Call
  • Face to face, telephone, or video appointments
  • Experienced in all aspects of divorce
  • Convenient locations across Dorset
  • Manage the process on your behalf
  • Advocate for you
Hayley Coyne HK Law

Your questions answered

Hayley Coyne, Chartered Legal Executive
  • Can I get divorced?
    You must be married for at least one year to be able to apply for a divorce.
  • Do I have to give a reason for the divorce?
    No, since the law updated in April 2022, there is now a no fault system and therefore, you do not give a reason as to why there has been an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. 
  • How long will the divorce process take?
    There is a minimum 20 week period between the date of the issue of the divorce application and the first date that the Conditional Order can be applied for. Furthermore, once the Conditional Order is granted, there is a minimum of 6 weeks and 1 day until the Final Order can be applied for. The divorce process will therefore take over 6 months.
  • Does the process change as I am in a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage?
    No, the process for ending a civil partnership or same sex marriage is the same as the process for a heterosexual marriage.
  • Can the divorce be defended?
    A divorce can only be disputed on grounds of jurisdiction, validity of the marriage or, if there is/has already been divorce proceedings. A person cannot defend a divorce on the basis that they do not want the divorce. There is a fee to pay to dispute the divorce.
  • Who pays for the divorce?
    The general rule is that parties bear their own costs within family proceedings. The person applying to the court is responsible for the court fee. Legal costs associated with the divorce can be requested to be paid for by the other party however, the court does not usually order that the other party pays the others costs.
  • If I am the Respondent in the divorce, what do I do?
    The Respondent is required to file an acknowledgment (response) to the divorce application within 14 days of receiving notice of the proceedings. If you do not respond within the allocated time, you may be personally served with proceedings and, you may be ordered to pay costs associated with this.
  • Once I am divorced does this end all obligations I have with my spouse?
    A divorce legally ends a marriage however, the divorce itself does not end the financial obligations that yourself and your spouse have. A separate order relating to finances is required in order for the financial obligations that marriage brings to be concluded.

By Darren Francis, Associate Solicitor

Find a Family Law & Divorce expert in your area

HK Law Blandford office


The newest of the HK Law offices and proud to service the people and businesses of Blandford and the surrounding area.

HK Law Bournemouth office


Our Bournemouth Solicitors, based at our office in Southbourne, are here to support you with all the personal and business legal needs.

Somerset Solicitors


HK Law’s history in Crewkerne dates back to 1749, making it the longest standing solicitors firm in the country.

HK Law Blandford office


With offices at 40 High West Street and 1 Colliton Walk, our expert team provides a comprehensive range of legal services to the people of Dorchester and surrounding areas.

HK Law Parkstone office


Our Parkstone solicitors, based in the heart of Ashley Cross, are here to offer you expert local legal advice.

Poole Solicitors


Our HK Law team in Poole assist local clients with their legal requirements.  Local to you, we are always on-hand to meet up whenever it suits you.

HK Law Swanage office


HK Law have held a strong presence in Swanage for generations. When it comes to client care, we pride ourselves on a modern approach backed up by traditional values.

HK Law Wareham office


Wareham is the office from which HK evolved. Today our Wareham office prides itself on offering the town a full range of legal services whilst keeping things simple and personal.

Our Divorce & Civil Partnership team

Associate FCILEX

Managing Partner

Chartered Legal Executive

Private Client Executive


Conveyancing Executive



Associate Solicitor