10th October 2023|In Divorce & Separation

Your Divorce Process – How to do a ‘Good Divorce’

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events of a person’s life. A divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. The end of a relationship can have devastating impacts on the whole family, but seeking early legal advice can help make the process smoother and less stressful, as you are better informed as to what to expect. At Blanchards Law, we always say, ‘Knowledge is Power’.

At Blanchards Law we try and give clients the most cost-effective and direct route, whether you initiate divorce proceedings (as the applicant) or are on the receiving end of them. Our empathetic team will listen to your concerns and provide clear, direct, no-nonsense advice to get you as close to where you want to be as possible.

No-Fault Divorce

In the past few years, the existing divorce laws under the Matrimonial Act 1973 have been under scrutiny due to their fault-based nature, and because they promote a blame culture between the divorcing couple. The new laws came into force in April 2022, and remove the need to apportion blame, thus reducing a major source of conflict between the couple and their children. 

An overview of the divorce process (from April 2022):

 There are four steps involved in acquiring a divorce:

  1. Filing a divorce application

You must complete an online divorce application; just one person can carry this out to the marriage (“Single Applicant”) or as a joint application by both individuals (Joint Applicants”).

If an application is made by just one part of the couple, that person will take the lead on making the applications at the later stages for Conditional Order and Final Order, as mentioned below. 

If the application is made jointly, both people in the marriage will need to make the applications. This is something that should be considered before deciding on which route is best, as on a joint application both of you will need to play your part during the process to keep it moving.

With your application, you must provide a very good photographic copy of your marriage certificate and a fee of (currently) £593.00 will need to be paid.

You must meet the eligibility criteria to be able to apply for a divorce in England or Wales:

  • You have been married for over a year
  • the marriage is legally recognised in the UK
  • the UK is the home of at least one of the couple, if not both (there are rules as to how long you need to have lived here)
  • One of you was born here, but there are strict rules if you are both living in another country with which the marriage has better connections
  • their marriage has permanently broken down

The eligibility criteria can be quite complicated, so unless one or both of you are living here, you should check whether you can bring an application here. The only ground for a divorce is the permanent breakdown of marriage, there is no requirement to prove fault.

  1. Response to Divorce

After receiving the application, the court will notify the other party (“the Respondent”) and they must file an acknowledgement They must submit that acknowledgement online within 7 days of receiving the application. The court will provide the respondent with a login code.

If the application has been made jointly, there is no need for either party to respond.

On both types of application (single or joint) there is a 20-week cooling-off period between the date the application is issued by the court, to the date you can apply for the Conditional Order. This is so both parties can be sure they want to proceed with the divorce.

  1. Apply for Conditional Order

After 20 weeks have passed an application for the Conditional Order can be made by the person who made the application for divorce OR if a joint application by both parties. This is again submitted online through your login.

You must then wait a further 6 weeks until the application for the Final Order can be made.

  1. Apply for Final Order

After 6 weeks from the date of the Conditional Order, you may complete the final step in the divorce process. The Single Applicant applies for the Final Order   OR if a joint application both parties to the marriage will need to log in and make the application. The Final Order is the legal document that officially ends the marriage.

Once the Final Order has been granted, the couple are officially relieved of their matrimonial obligations.

At Blanchards Law we always advise that the Final Order is not applied for until the matrimonial finances have been agreed and a sealed order made the court. This can be carried out alongside the divorce process, but can only be submitted to the court once the Conditional Order has been made. 

Please see our page in respect of financial claims here Do You Need a Financial Consent Order? | Free Consultation (blanchardslaw.co.uk) 

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

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