No Fault Divorce – What is it and how can I get one?
I have read that Divorce Law has changed; is that true?
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was given Royal Assent on 25th June 2020. This means the Bill was converted into a new Act of Law. Since April 2022, No-Fault Divorce has been applicable in the courts of England and Wales. The Act also introduces a new minimum timeframe of 20 weeks between the start of proceedings and when individuals may apply for a conditional order of divorce. This will offer time to reflect and potentially turn back, or where reconciliation is not possible, to agree on important arrangements for the future – such as those involving children, finance and property.
Can I apply for a No Fault Divorce jointly with my spouse?
Under the new law, you can apply for a divorce as a sole applicant or jointly with your spouse if you remain on civil terms. The court fee payable is £593 unless you qualify for an exemption from that fee based upon a qualifying benefit or low income. The court fee may increase from April 2024.
How long does it take?
The process of dissolving a marriage should take at most 6-8 months. It is unlikely you will need to attend court in person. It is essentially a paper exercise that can be completed without a court hearing.
How much does a No fault Divorce cost?
Unless you are exempt from paying the court fee, you will have to pay the court £593 to start your divorce. You can generally agree to a fixed fee with a solicitor to do all the paperwork for you that should not exceed £1,000 plus VAT.
Can I get a free divorce?
If you can provide specific evidence and your income falls below a certain level, you may be eligible for a free divorce under the Legal Aid Agency Legal Help Scheme. A solicitor can go through what evidence is needed to satisfy that assessment.
Do I need to sort out financial matters and children matters at the same time?
No, however, it is advisable to try and resolve any financial claims and children matters you may have at the same time as your divorce. If you do not, you can resolve them at a later date but this will involve further applications to court to resolve these outstanding issues.
You can also call to book into our free clinic on 01253 824 216