The Divorce Law has now changed and as of the 6 April 2022; there is now a no-fault Divorce under the new system and no need to blame anybody for the breakdown of the marriage.
There are 4 stages as follows:
1. Divorce Application
Either a sole applicant or as a couple, as joint applicants, complete a Divorce Application (Form DB) and submit the application to a Divorce Centre either online or by post with the correct court fee – currently £593.
All that needs to be stated by either a sole applicant or joint applicant’s is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The Court, once it has issued the Petition will send a copy of the Petition to the other party and request that they complete a Acknowledgement of Service Form.
2. Acknowledgement of Service
The next step is for the other party to complete and return the Acknowledgement of Service Form and return it to the Court within 14 days.
3. 20 Week Reflection Period
Once the Acknowledgement of Service Form is received there is a 20 week Cooling Off period.
This period of time can be used to sort out Child Arrangements and to reach a financial agreement. If a financial agreement is reached, the Consent Order can be filed after the Conditional Order has been granted( see below).
After 20 weeks, the applicant (or joint applicants) can make an application to the Court for a Conditional Order.
4. The Final Order
Six-weeks after the Conditional Order is granted, an application for a Final Order can be made. The Final Order dissolves the marriage and you are free to re-marry should you so wish.
However, the act of Divorce itself does not end the financial relationship between you and your partner.
To separate your finances, you must reach a financial settlement, a legally binding decision on how assets and wealth will be split now that the marriage has ended.
If an agreement cannot be reached a application for Financial Remedy will have to be made to the Court.
It is important that however an agreement is reached the terms must be embodied into a court Order so that is legally binding.
Arrangements for children will need to be made if required, but these are also dealt with separately from the Divorce.
We will be happy to give you further guidance on this aspect of your affairs if you wish.