‘Divorce Decoded: Breaking Down the Breakup’

Couples no longer have to partake in the ‘blame game’ following the introduction of the no fault divorce. A step-by-step guide of the new process follows.

Step 1: Consult a Family Law Specialist

Starting divorce proceedings is a big decision and can be overwhelming. A consultation with a member of our Family Team, will provide the necessary information for you to form a decision on the next steps and tailored advice on how to best achieve your wishes. This advice is particularly important where children and finances are involved.

Step 2: The Divorce Application

If you wish to begin divorce proceedings, we will draft the Divorce Application and lodge it on the court portal. You can make a joint application with your former spouse if you both agree that the marriage has ended. Where financial matters or arrangements for children must be resolved, the proceedings for this cannot be done jointly and separate solicitors must be instructed. 

Step 3: Waiting for the Divorce to be Issued

Your application is then processed by the Court. This step usually takes around two to four weeks but can vary. Once the application has been processed, the Court will issue the papers.

Step 4: Acknowledgement

Once the Court issues the papers, in joint applications, both applicants are required to complete an online acknowledgement of service. In sole applications, a copy is sent to the Respondent online and they are asked to complete the acknowledgement within 14 days.

Step 6: 20 Week Reflection Period

You must then wait 20 weeks from when your Divorce Application was issued before any further advancements can be made in the divorce process. In this time, it is best to resolve any financial matters or arrangements for children, a divorce dissolves the marriage but it does resolve these.

Step 7: Conditional Order

Once the 20 week period has passed, we are able to apply for the Conditional Order (previously called a Decree Nisi). This Order confirms that you are legally entitled to a divorce. If the Court approve your divorce, they will issue a Certificate of Entitlement. This step takes around five weeks.

Step 8: 6 Week ‘Cooling Off’ Period

After the Conditional Order has been pronounced, you enter a six-week ‘cooling off’ period. This step allows couples to ‘cool off’ to ensure they truly wish to dissolve their marriage.

Step 9: Final Order

Six weeks and one day after the date of the Conditional Order has been pronounced, we can apply for the Final Order (previously called a Decree Absolute). This order dissolves your marriage and brings the divorce process to an end.

Next Steps

Before deciding what to do it is always best to obtain legal advice, this will enable you to make an informed decision about your future. We have specialist Family Law Solicitors who can give you the advice you need to make the right decision for you. Please contact us on 01384 811 811 or email alissa.qamar@waldrons.co.uk