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The Divorce Court Process

When a marriage breaks down, divorce is the ultimate conclusion.

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Parting ways with your spouse is not always easy and the divorce process is not always straightforward. However the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is now in force and aims to make the process easier.

The whole process begins with understanding the ground to obtain a divorce and the conditions that must be met. There is now no need to state that your spouse is at fault, but for example, you must have been legally married for over a year, your relationship must have irretrievably broken down and you or your spouse need to meet certain Domicile or Residence conditions.

This page explains the steps in the divorce process.

What Is the Process for Getting a Divorce?

To successfully obtain a divorce in England and Wales and to receive a Final Order;

File a Divorce Application

You should start the divorce process by applying to the court. You can do this with the help of a divorce solicitor. You can also apply for the divorce yourself or jointly with your partner. You will need to have available your marriage certificate (and also a formal translation if needed)

If you apply by yourself, you are the applicant, while your spouse is the respondent. You must pay the court fee when you submit your application.

Acknowledgement of Service

The divorcing couple must prove to the court that both parties are aware of the proceedings and have been given a chance to respond. If you file for divorce, your partner receives a copy of the divorce application, together with a form for them to complete and return to the court, which they should do within 14 days.

The respondent’s ability to contest a divorce is extremely limited.

Reflection Period

Then your divorce application undergoes a 20-week waiting period before it goes to the next stage.

The Conditional Order Application

After the 20 week period, the applicant can apply to the court for a conditional order (previously called decree nisi). When granted you remain married until the final order is made (previously called decree absolute).

The conditional order simply means the court has approved your divorce. But you’ll remain married until the divorce process is over. You may wait for 6 weeks before applying to the court to finalise your divorce and grant a final order.

Apply for the Financial Order

You can also apply for the financial order during the six weeks wait period. It enables you to work on the financial consent order if there is agreement on financial issues.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce?

The amount you will spend to finalise your divorce varies according to the type of divorce you opt for. A simple divorce process that’s not contested can cost around £400-£600 if you hire a specialist solicitor, plus the court fee.

However, a complicated one will cost more, the amount will vary from one solicitor to the next. But you also need to pay the court fee, which is non-refundable and is currently £593.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?

The shortest time to process a divorce in the UK is six months. Remember, you have to wait for 20 weeks after the first application.

After that, you also need to wait another six weeks and one day to apply for the court’s final order. However, a complicated divorce case can take years to solve and reach an conclusion.

Can I Get Legal Aid for a Divorce?

Yes. You may be able to apply for legal aid if you can satisfy the means and merit requirements of the legal aid board.

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How can Austin Kemp’s Divorce Solicitors Help You?

You don’t have to undergo the whole divorce process alone. A divorce solicitor from Austin Kemp can help. Contact us immediately if you decide to divorce, and we’ll help you make the right decisions.

Our professionals have years of experience and use the right tools, like a divorce calculator, to help you get what your heart desires.

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