Three months ago there was a big legal shift in how the UK divorce procedure works and in particular no-fault divorces. Associate Family Solicitor, Alice Blackmore, answers some of the common questions she has been asked since the change took place and how it will affect you and your divorce.
I understand I no longer need to place blame on my spouse in divorce proceedings, is this true?
Yes that’s right. No fault divorce now enables couples to divorce the other without allocating blame.
Can you tell me how the new divorce application works?
The divorce application can be submitted online and couples can apply on a joint application confirming the marriage has irretrievably broken down or, one party can file a sole application.
Does no fault divorce, mean a quicker process?
In short, the process is not necessarily quicker. This is because the timescales have changed. There is a minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to when the ‘Conditional Order’ can be made. There is then a six week period between the Conditional Order and Final Order i.e. when the marriage has officially come to an end.
What is the cost of a no-fault divorce?
There is a court fee of £593. Your lawyer’s fees will be dependent on your individual case and is something your lawyer can discuss with you at your initial meeting.
We’ve been separated for a long-time and haven’t thought about getting divorce, why should I do so now?
The change in the law has made it easier for couples who wanted to separate by mutual agreement because of the focus on ‘positive uncoupling’ and the removal of the ‘blame game’. Historically, couples were unable to divorce each other without blame unless they had been separated for at least 2 years with consent of both parties or 5 years without the consent of both parties.
Further, in order for a couple to have protection from any future financial claims being made against the other in the future, it is best to have a financial agreement drawn up and approved by the court and divorce proceedings must be commenced to obtain this.
Do I still need a Solicitor to assist in my divorce?
Yes, it is always best to obtain tailored legal advice at the earliest opportunity when considering separation.
Can you act for me and my spouse in a joint divorce application?
A lawyer could only act for one party in the divorce, but that is not to say that a joint application could not be made on behalf of both parties. It will be very much down to the circumstances of the case and it is something that will be discussed with you at your initial meeting.
If you have any other questions about no-fault divorce you can email Alice on email@example.com and she will be more than happy to answer any questions yo may have. Alternately, if you’re unsure what no-fault divorce means you can read our article on No-fault divorce: Your questions answered