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Though the decision to end a marriage is never an easy one, it doesn’t have to result in conflict or hostility. Many couples want to end their marriage amicably.

Following a landmark change in UK law that will come into effect on 6th April 2022, couples will now be able to apply for a No-Fault divorce. A No-Fault divorce alleviates the emotional and financial toll of lengthy disputes and ‘finger-pointing.’ Our solicitors can guide you through your divorce proceedings and help you achieve a positive outcome.

The No-Fault Divorce process

The Court will now accept a statement from you, or a joint statement from you and your partner, as evidence that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means you can begin divorce proceedings without the need to apportion blame or to have been separated for a set period.

By removing the legal requirement to play the ‘blame game’, your divorce proceedings can progress more fairly and constructively. Our experienced family solicitors will guide you through the process and assist with any negotiations relating to matrimonial finances and children.

If you filed for divorce before 6th April 2022, and matters are still ongoing, we are happy to support you with any negotiations and contested proceedings.

When can I start divorce proceedings?

We can commence divorce proceedings at any time providing you have been married for over one year and provided one or other of the couple is domiciled or habitually resident in this country.  If there is any query with regard to jurisdiction, please telephone for further advice.  If you have been married for less than one year there are other options available to you, such as a separation.  Contact us here for further advice.

On what grounds can a Divorce Petition be started?

The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The Divorce Process

The spouse issuing the divorce proceedings is referred to as the Applicant.  The other spouse to whom the proceedings are issued is called the Respondent.  The Applicant must prepare the Divorce Petition to submit to the Court with the original marriage certificate and a Court fee.  If there are children of the family, then the Applicant must also complete a Statement of Arrangements about the children and send this to the Court with the Petition.

The Court issues a Notice of Proceedings.  A copy of this is served on the Respondent, normally by posting it to him or her with a copy of the Application and a form called the Acknowledgment of Service.

The Respondent is asked to complete the Acknowledgment of Service and return it to the Court within 7 days.

The Respondent (or his or her solicitor) returns the Acknowledgment of Service to the Court.  The Court then sends a copy to the Petitioner’s solicitors.  The Petitioner’s solicitors then prepare an application to the Court for a Conditional Order.

The District Judge then looks through the papers and decides if the Applicant is entitled to a divorce.

The District Judge then certifies that the Applicant is entitled to the divorce and the Court sets the date for the pronouncement of the Conditional Order.

Once the Conditional Order has been granted, the Applicant may apply for the Final Order after six weeks and one day has passed.  If the Applicant does not apply for the Final Order on the first available date, the Respondent can do so after a further three months have passed from the date when the Applicant could have first applied.

Need advice about your divorce proceedings?

If you have any questions about divorce or are unsure of where to begin, our specialists offer an initial consultation for up to an hour. We will listen to your needs, talk you through our approach, and advise you on your next steps. Call us on 0800 987 8156 or request a call back.

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