Divorce

If you are thinking about ending your relationship, you may want to know the implications for yourself and your family before you take that final step.  We offer a free half hour consultation to provide initial advice regarding the issues that need to be considered by you during the process.

The long awaited “No Fault Divorce” finally came into effect on 6th April 2022. The introduction of this enables a divorce to be obtained without the need for one party to blame the other: making it a more conciliatory system in contrast to the previous divorce process.   It also applies to civil partnerships.  Not only does it avoid blame but it also enables joint applications for divorce to be made, although an application by one party is still permitted. 

With a new system comes new language and there have been some changes to the general terminology which will now be utilised.  The person who applies for a divorce is now an Applicant (previously Petitioner,) the other party will be known as the Respondent (as before.)  A conditional Order replaces the previously known Decree Nisi and the Decree Absolute is now known as a Final Order.

There is a significant difference from the previous system in that the “No Fault Divorce” requires that there must be a minimum of 26 weeks from the date of the application being submitted to the Final Order being applied for.    The quickest divorce will now take at least 26 weeks and 2 days but, in reality, it will be longer as there will need to be time to process the papers on each occasion.  The intention behind this forced delay is to ensure a period of reflection on the parties to ensure they have considered all options of working through their differences before finalising a divorce.

One of the biggest changes to the process, is the fact that now it will not be possible to defend the divorce or civil partnership, except on legal grounds, such as the Court not having the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. It is also no longer possible to seek a formal costs order against the other party although it is of course open to parties to reach their own agreements regarding this outside the Court system.

At Straw & Pearce we continue to offer a fixed fee arrangement in respect of a divorce or termination of a civil partnership.  The current fixed fee amounts to £1133 and includes the Court fee of £593 and vat.

It is important to remember that divorce does not resolve the other issues arising from the relationship breakdown, such as the arrangements regarding property, pensions and future maintenance, or in respect of the arrangements for the children.  Straw & Pearce can assist you in negotiating these arrangements and ensure that these are recorded in the appropriate document, where necessary. If required, court applications can be made to finalise these issues.  This work is not included in the fixed fee arrangement, but it is certainly a very important issue To address at the start of the process.  Please click on the links at the side of this page for more information on each individual aspect.

Finally, it is important to be aware that a divorce affects any will you already have in place.  It is important to ensure you re-draw your will to cater for your dependants after the divorce.  Straw & Pearce can help if you need advice on making a will.