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FAQs Divorce

Can I make an application for divorce?

Yes, if you have been married for at least a year and your marriage has irretrievably broken down.

How do I apply?

One person or a couple jointly makes the application online.

You need your marriage certificate and there is a court fee to be paid.

A solicitor can do this for you and will ensure that the application is correctly completed as there are some potential pitfalls.

What happens if I am on benefits?

If an applicant is on a low income or on certain benefits an application can be made for help with fees and the court will assess whether any or all of the court fee is required to be paid.

Can my partner stop the divorce?

There are only very limited grounds on which a divorce can be defended. So if one person considers the marriage to have irretrievably broken down that will be sufficient to obtain a divorce.

What happens next?

The court sends the other person a copy of the application and they are required to acknowledge receipt of the papers.

After a period of 20 weeks from the issue of the application the Conditional Order can be applied for, this is the confirmation that you are entitled to a divorce.

What about finances?

Once the divorce application has been made you both need to be open and honest about your finances and provide each other with full details so that an agreement can be reached as to how you are going to divide things up.

What am I entitled to?

There are a variety of factors that are taken into account such as the length of the marriage, whether there are children, what the income position of each of you are, the age of each of you and so on. A specialist divorce lawyer will be able to advise you once full financial information has been obtained.

How do I reach an agreement?

You can discuss matters direct with your partner but should do so with caution and alongside legal advice. Mediation is an option so that you can discuss matters in the presence of a specialist family mediator. Negotiation through solicitors is a more formal process and will run alongside the other options in any event.

Getting legal advice at an early stage is advisable.

Can we use the same lawyer to agree finances?

No. Each of you need your own independent legal advice which will be based on the financial information and the checklist of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Won’t having a lawyer make things difficult/expensive?

No. Divorce lawyers who are members of Resolution promote a constructive approach, listening to the client and aiming to get the best for them whilst guiding them through the process. If you both have your own legal advice you can make informed decisions based on legal advice. You are paying for expertise and experience.

So what happens when we reach an agreement?

It is drafted into a Court Order and sent to the Court for consideration by a Judge, with other documents that the Judge needs so that they have enough information to decide if the proposed Order is fair in all the circumstances.

The Financial Order can only be sent to the Court after the Conditional Order has been pronounced.

What happens then?

The Judge will either approve the Order or may raise some questions. Once it is approved it will be an Order of the Court and it will need to be implemented so that the terms you have agreed are actioned.

When will I be divorced?

6 weeks after the Conditional Order has been pronounced the application for a Final Order of divorce, the document that dissolves your marriage, can be applied for.

You may be advised not to apply for the Final Order immediately if finances have not been resolved or if there is a Pension Sharing Order as part of the settlement.

What do I do now?

For specialist advice on all aspects of family breakdown, including settlement of finances and resolving arrangements for any children of the family, contact one of our team who will support, guide and advise you through this difficult time.