Divorce Solicitors

Do you need help with:

  • Understanding what grounds there are for a divorce?
  • Timescales for divorce?
  • Getting a divorce?
  • Choosing a lawyer to assist you?
  • Sorting out the financial issues following on from divorce?

We have a team of experienced lawyers who can advise and help you in respect to all aspects of a Divorce.

Historically, in order to obtain a Divorce in England and Wales it was necessary for the party applying for a Divorce to establish that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and to do that they had to prove one of the ‘five facts’.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020) however reformed the Divorce laws. It aimed to make the Divorce process less acrimonious by introducing what is commonly known as ‘no fault Divorce’. This legislation, for the first time, completely removes the need to assign blame when commencing Divorce proceedings.

The Divorce Process

The person who applies for a Divorce is called the “Applicant” and the other spouse is the “Respondent”. It is now possible for both parties to apply jointly as joint applicants.

If you instruct us to act on your behalf, the first step is for us to prepare the Divorce Application. Please note these points:

  • To start a Divorce you must have your Marriage Certificate. If you do not have it your solicitor can get a copy but they will need to know when and where you were married.
  • Your Lawyer will need full information to complete the Application including contact information for your spouse.

When the Application has been prepared and approved the Application will be submitted to the Court. This is now done online via a Court Portal.

Once the Court have processed your application, they will notify your spouse and request that they complete an Acknowledgement form to the Court saying that the Divorce papers have been received. This is called an “Acknowledgement of Service”.

Assuming your spouse has returned the Acknowledgement form saying that the Application will not be defended, the Application can then proceed to the next stage which is known as the “Conditional Order”.

You cannot apply or a Conditional Order until 20 weeks have passed since the start of the proceedings. Your Lawyer will receive notification from the Court when the Conditional Order can be applied for. Once the application has been made, the Court will set a date for the pronouncement of the Conditional Order.

The final stage of the Divorce is the Final Order. This legally brings the marriage to an end. The Final Order can be applied for six weeks and one day after the Conditional Order.

If for one reason or another you do not apply for Final Order, then your spouse may apply to the Court for permission to obtain this, but not until three months have gone by since the Conditional Order. The reasons for the delay have to be explained to the Court and the Judge must be satisfied that amongst other things, you and your spouse have not lived together since the date of the Conditional Order, before he or she will make it Final.

Disputes over money or property are normally best dealt with before the Divorce is made final. Sometimes we may advise a party not to apply for the Final Order on the first available date for fear of potential loss of the widow’s pension and other benefits.

Most Divorces will take about 6-9 months to obtain from sending the papers to Court to the granting of the Final Order, however if Court proceedings are required to resolve disputes about money or children then these can themselves take in the region of 12 to 24 months to conclude.

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