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No Fault Divorce

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Call our team now on 0800 470 0331 for a free initial chat about your options and your next steps.

It’s important to get the right legal advice from the outset from experienced family lawyers. Our team of specialist family practitioners will be able to provide you with expert advice on what the changes to the law mean for you, and how we can support you and progress your divorce in the best way possible.

We offer divorce at a competitive fixed fee and it is possible to spread your payments over a number of months.  Our team will be able to advise you of the fixed fee offered depending upon whether we are acting for sole or joint applicants.

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The New ‘No Fault’ Divorce Law

Under the new divorce law (Divorce Dissolution & Separation Act 2020) the parties no longer have allege unreasonable behaviour or adultery, or be separated for 2 years or more.  This has been scrapped and replaced with a No Fault Divorce process.

Under the new law, either party, or both parties together, can apply for a divorce order or dissolution order to dissolve the marriage or partnership, by making an application to court with an accompanying statement confirming the marriage/partnership has broken down irretrievably.


How long will it take?

The minimum time for a divorce or dissolution to conclude will be in the region of six months.

Joint Divorce Applications

A major change is the ability for both parties to apply jointly, which means that both parties can instruct the same solicitor to act for them both, which will hopefully encourage a more collaborative approach and streamline the process and reduce costs.

We can advise you about whether a joint application might be the best option for you.

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No Fault Divorce - Your Questions Answered

What is the process?


The process will still be in two-stages, with a conditional order (formerly a Decree Nisi) being made at the first stage.  The applicant or applicants must confirm that they do wish the application to continue not earlier than 20 weeks from the date of the start of proceedings.  This allows the applicants a period of reflection before a conditional order is made.

The second and final stage is the final order (formerly Decree Absolute).  This cannot be applied for until at least six weeks after the date of the conditional order.

Can I defend the divorce?


A major change is that the respondent will no longer be able to ‘defend’ the proceedings.  This change recognises that if one party believes that the marriage or partnership is over- then it is unlikely to be salvaged by forcing the parties to remain in a marriage or partnership until five years have passed since their separation.

How long will it take?


The minimum time for a divorce or dissolution to conclude will be in the region of six months.

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Congleton Family Solicitors

New terminology

The new law will bring about a raft of changes including a change to some of the more archaic terms such as Decree Nisi and Petitioner.  Instead, as part of the drive to make the whole process easier for non-lawyers to understand and navigate their way through, the Latin terms are gone and replaced with far more user friendly terminology.

  • Divorce Petition = Application for a Divorce Order

  • Petitioner = Applicant

  • Decree Nisi = Conditional Order

  • Decree Absolute =Final Order

  • Decree of Nullity = Nullity of Marriage Order

  • Decree of Judicial Separation = Judicial Separation Order

  • Grant of a Decree = Making an Order

  • Filing an Answer = Filing a Response

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Please submit your information and a member of the Poole Alcock team will respond to you as soon as possible. If you have a quick question, please feel free to call 01270 625478.

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