16 August 2023

What is a Conditional Order?

A “Conditional Order” is what is known as the first “Order” in divorce proceedings. For divorces beginning after April ’22, this replaces the Decree Nisi, however, they serve the same purpose.

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A “Conditional Order” is what is known as the first “Order” in divorce proceedings.

Following a successful application for your Conditional Order, you will receive a certificate of entitlement from the Court confirming that a judge has held that that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.  The certificate of entitlement will provide a date upon which the Court will pronounce your Conditional Order, and was made, the order will confirm that the marriage will be dissolved unless the Court receives evidence within a certain time period from the date the Conditional Order was pronounced as to why the Conditional Order should not be made Final. If neither party has filed any evidence within the required time, the Applicant can apply for the Final Order.

The pronouncement of the Conditional Order is generally made in open court and neither party is required to attend unless the Applicant or Respondent is seeking to object to the making of the Conditional Order.

How long between conditional order and final order?

There is a statutory period of 6 weeks in between Conditional Order and Final Order, which provides a “cooling off” period for the parties should they require it.  This period can be shortened but only in exceptional circumstances such as the impending birth of a child or ill health supported by medical evidence. In reality this period may be extended as a result of ongoing negotiations surrounding the division of the matrimonial assets.

What happens after Conditional Order is granted?

Once Conditional Order has been granted the Applicant has to wait a period of 6 weeks before they can apply for the Final Order.  In the event the Applicant fails to apply for the Final Order the Respondent can apply three months after the expiry of the 6 week period.

This is also the first opportunity that the parties have to file a ‘Consent Order’ with the Court setting out how the parties’ finances are to be divided following their divorce.  If the parties are unable to reach agreement between them it is advisable to seek a stay of proceedings until an agreement has been reached with the assistance of solicitors, mediation or the court, otherwise you could find yourself being severely prejudiced in relation to a financial settlement, as proceeding with the divorce may terminate an entitlement to a particular asset that you would have otherwise had entitlement to if you were still married.

Kew Law has a team of specialist matrimonial solicitors who will be able to assist you with any queries you may have in connection with your divorce process. We can lighten the strain and stress of the divorce process by acting for you on a fixed fee basis, where there are no hidden charges. Where you choose to undertake your divorce by yourself, we can offer you an initial consultation at an office that is local to you, where you will receive specialist legal advice from one of our matrimonial solicitors who can provide you with an overview as to process which is involved.

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