No Fault Divorce Changes
What is the difference between a Conditional Divorce Order and Decree Nisi?
If you applied for a divorce prior to 6th April 2022, then you will be granted a Decree Nisi which is a provisional decree of divorce that is given by the court when the legal and procedural requirements for divorce are met by a person. This will not end the marriage and a further application will have to be made for Decree Absolute.
If you applied for a divorce after 6th April 2022, then you will be granted a Conditional Divorce Order. It is effectively the same but the name has been changed to make the process more user friendly.
What is the difference between a Final Divorce Order and Decree Absolute?
As outlined above, the only real change since 6th April 2022 relates to the naming of the particular procedure.
If you applied for a divorce prior to 6th April 2022, then you will apply for a Decree Absolute order to dissolve your marriage. This can only be applied for after 43 days has elapsed from the pronouncement of Decree Nisi.
If you applied for a divorce after 6th April 2022, then you will apply for a Final Divorce Order to dissolve your marriage. The 43 day waiting period remains in place and must have elapsed after the pronouncement of the Conditional Divorce Order before the Final Order will be granted.
What criteria apply for me to seek a divorce under the new law?
You can get divorced in England or Wales if all of the following are true:
- you’ve been married for more than a year
- your relationship has permanently broken down
- your marriage is legally recognised in the UK, including same-sex marriage
Can I apply for a 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. That is the only court fee that you would have to pay if you apply for a divorce without a solicitor helping you.
What are the current timescales for a divorce?
The new procedure has extended the timescales for a divorce because there is a 20 week waiting period after your divorce application has been issued before you are entitled to apply for a conditional order. It currently takes around 6-8 months from issue to the Final Divorce Order.
How much will a solicitor charge me to apply for a divorce?
Different solicitors will have different costs for this process. However, in our opinion, you should not have to pay more than £1,000 for a solicitor to apply for a divorce for you. There is a court fee that you will also have to pay on top of your solicitor’s fees what has been detailed earlier in this article.