Starting with a Divorce Application and ending with a Final Order; divorce is a legal process carried out by the Court.

To be able to issue divorce proceedings, you will need to meet the following criteria:-

  • You must be married to your spouse for over a year;
  • You or your spouse must be domiciled or have lived in England or Wales for the preceding year;
  • You must be of the opinion that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

In April 2022, the Court brought a new way for married couples to divorce. This is called ‘No-fault divorce’ and it allows people to solely or jointly apply for divorce without blaming their partner for the relationship breakdown. The Court have created this divorce process more amicable between the parties, as previously you would need to site one of one of 5 facts which would often heightened matters. You can now only apply via ‘No-Fault’ and the divorce and you do not require the other party’s consent and the divorce cannot be defended.

Please see our procedure guide below includes everything you need to know about divorce law to keep proceedings peaceful and amicable between you and your partner.

The Procedure

1. Divorce Application
To begin the process, you will need to complete and file a ‘Divorce Application’ with the Court along with your original marriage certificate and the required Court fee which is currently £593.

2. Acknowledgment of Service
When the Court have issued the Divorce Application, a sealed copy will be issued along with an ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ Form. Depending on whether your application was sole or joint, your spouse will need to complete the Acknowledgement Form with the Court which confirms they have read and received the Application.

3. Conditional Order
Once 20 weeks has elapsed from the date of the Divorce Application, the Conditional Order can be applied for. This document is to confirm that you are entitled to a divorce.

4. Final Order
Once 6 weeks and 1 day has passed from the date of the Conditional order, the Final order can be applied for which formally dissolves the marriage.

The 26 weeks and 1 day delay put in place by the Court is to ensure that the divorce is actually necessary as once granted, it is final. It is also in place to encourage the parties to deal with the financial aspects of the divorce which are separate. Financial matters should be finalised by way of a ‘Consent Order’ prior to the Final Order on the divorce being granted.

To receive detailed advice on the divorce and Consent Order process, please contact our Family Team  to arrange an appointment with Fiona Pawsey or Lucy Hutfield.

Guide to financial settlement on divorce

Guide to mediation in settling family disputes

Guide to disputes in relation to children

Fiona Pawsey

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