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*We do not offer legal aid.

My marriage has broken down. What do I do next?

Ending a marriage is difficult and emotional for everyone involved but unfortunately you can’t just simply walk away at the end. As well as starting the divorce process, you will also need to consider and sort out your finances and child arrangements.

No matter what stage of the process you are at, we are here to advise you on your legal rights, the options available to you and the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome. We pride ourselves in supporting and guiding our clients every step of the way.

No Fault Divorce

On 6 April 2022, a new no-fault divorce law was introduced which aims to simplify the divorce process, reduce delays, and most importantly, reduce hostility and blame between divorcing couples.

The new law, otherwise known as ‘no-blame divorce’, means that couples no longer need to provide a reason or blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage, and now have the option to make a sole or joint application with their spouse.

The New Law and Change of Language

The party who applies for the divorce is now known as the ‘Applicant’ and the other party is referred to as the ‘Respondent’. Previously, the Applicant was referred to as the ‘Petitioner’. If the parties are making a joint application for divorce, they are referred to as ‘Applicant 1’ and ‘Applicant 2’.

Divorce Petition is now referred to as Divorce Application.

Decree Nisi is now referred to as Conditional Order.

Decree Absolute is now referred to as Final Order.

How do I start the divorce process?

To start the process either you, your husband/wife, or both of you must provide a legal statement to the court confirming that your marriage has irretrievably broken down by submitting a Divorce Application.

Rather than having to give one of five reasons for your marriage breakdown, one or both parties will give ‘notice’ that the relationship is over. This will start the 20-week reflection period.

At the end of this 20-week period, the Applicant can then make an application for a Conditional Order. Once the Conditional Order has been granted, the Applicant is then permitted to apply for a Final Order following a 6-week reflection period. A Final Order ends the marriage.