Divorce Lawyers Berkhamsted, Amersham & Beaconsfield
Getting a divorce in England has become more straightforward following a significant change to the divorce law that came into effect on 6 April 2022. However, there is a still a strict process you need to go through so it is not only important to take legal advice to understand the process but to also understand the implications of a divorce.
You can get divorced in England or Wales provided the following applies:
- You’ve been married for over a year
- Your relationship has permanently broken down
- Your marriage is legally recognised here
- One or both of you must live or usually have a permanent home in England and Wales
What are the grounds for divorce?
To start divorce proceedings, a divorce application must be sent to the court. From April 2022, you are now able to make a joint application with your spouse or a sole application. You will need your original marriage certificate or a certified copy. The application must be correctly completed and you would be required to make a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’ to confirm that the relationship has come to an end.
If you have applied for the divorce jointly, the court will send notice of the issued application to both parties, and you must both acknowledge it.
If your spouse has made a sole application for divorce, you will be notified by the court and you must reply within 14 days with an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form.
Under the new divorce laws, the option to defend a divorce has been removed but it can be disputed in very limited circumstances. For instance, when the marriage is not valid, or if the court does not have jurisdiction.
This is a court order which legally ends the marriage. Once the Final Order is granted, you are free to remarry. Prior to 6 April 2022, this order was known as a ‘Decree Absolute’.
Once a Conditional Order has been granted, you will need to wait 6 weeks before applying for a Final Order. However, we would generally advise clients to wait until a financial settlement has been reached before applying for the Final Order. A financial settlement can be reached by a consent order or by a financial remedy order from the court.
Under the new divorce rules in place from 6 April 2022, you have to wait at least 20 weeks from the divorce application being issued before you can apply for the Conditional Order and then a further 6 weeks before applying for the Final Order. This means that the minimum timeframe for divorce is 26 weeks (approximately 6 months). It is more likely that most divorces will take around 7-12 months.
Currently, the court fee for making a divorce application is £593. If you make a joint divorce application, you can agree to split this fee. But if you make a sole application, you will need to pay the whole fee. You can instruct us to deal with the process for you and this may be done at an hourly rate or on a fixed fee basis.
The short answer is No. For the most part, the divorce would have no bearing upon the terms of a financial settlement.
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Read all about the No Fault Divorce – What is it and what do you need to know about it.
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