How do you get a divorce?
The divorce process involves the following stages:
1. Divorce Application
The application for a divorce can be made either solely by one party or jointly by the
couple. The divorce application is then filed with the Court. A Court fee must be paid
unless they are exempt or partially exempt from paying this fee.
2. Response to Divorce Application
As the divorce process is managed online, the Court will send details to the respondent
so they are able to access the divorce application. Instructions are also provided to
the Respondent to complete a Response to the Divorce Application. The Respondent is
asked whether they agree to the divorce or whether they wish to dispute the proceedings.
The Respondent has 14 days in which to complete and lodge the document online.
3. The Period of Reflection
The parties must wait 20 weeks after making the divorce application before being able to
able to apply for a Conditional Order. The Conditional Order is the first of the
two-part Divorce Order. In the application for the Conditional Offer, it must be
confirmed that everything in the divorce application remains unchanged and the party/
parties wish to proceed with the divorce.
4. Final Order
Once 6 weeks have elapsed from the date the Conditional Order was made, the party/parties
will be able to apply for a Final Order. This will bring the marriage to an end and at
which point they are officially divorced.
Why do you need a divorce solicitor?
Even if your divorce is amicable, it is a good idea to instruct a divorce solicitor to act on your
behalf. There are many forms to complete as part of the divorce process, and your solicitor will make
sure they are filled in correctly and submitted on time. Mistakes in paperwork can lead to rejection by
the court, which means a longer, more drawn-out divorce process and further court fees.
Receiving a Decree Absolute ends a marriage, but it is separate from child arrangements and financial
arrangements. Your divorce solicitor will be able to advise you about this. It is sensible to sort out
financial matters at the same time as divorce or soon afterwards because otherwise, there is nothing to
stop your ex-spouse from claiming any future assets, inheritance or income you receive.