It can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant time considering filing for a divorce or a dissolution of a civil partnership. April 2022 saw the biggest reform of divorce law in over fifty years. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA) received Royal assent in June 2020 after a great many years of lobbying by family lawyers and came into effect quite quickly on the 5th April 2022. The main aim of the changes is to reduce conflict between couples seeking to legally end their marriage or civil partnership.

Before you can apply, you must have been married to your spouse or in a civil partnership for a period of at least one year. There is only one reason a person may seek a divorce/dissolution, that is that your marriage has broken down irretrievably which is now simply proven by a signed statement of truth by one or both parties and so there is no longer any ability to oppose or defend the application except in very rare circumstances there may be judication issues or a question over the validly of the marriage/civil partnership.

Proceedings are now commenced by Application rather than what was traditionally called a Petition and can be a sole or joint Application with your spouse/partner who will then be the 2nd Applicant. A reply/acknowledgment will still need to be filed by the 2nd Applicant or Respondent on sole applications. Following issue of the Application, the Applicant will have to wait 20 weeks before applying for a Conditional Order (formerly known as a Decree Nisi).

The 6 weeks wait following the Conditional Order and Final Order (formerly known as Decree Absolute) remains which means the process will now take not less than 26 weeks, which is 6 months.

How much does a divorce cost?

The cost varies depending on what is involved, and the work required. We offer an initial general advice consultation for 20 minutes with one of our family law specialists free of charge. If you require something a little more in-depth, we can offer a one-hour fixed fee initial appointment during which we will assess your personal circumstances and discuss your needs. We will then explain the further costs involved and give you information about the funding options available to you.

In certain circumstances, we can offer a fixed fee service for your case.

In more complicated cases, we can offer flexible payment arrangements and access to funding litigation loans with third parties (subject to meeting their lending criteria) and will always provide a detailed cost estimate in writing at the outset. We will update you regularly and help you budget.

How can I find out more?

Talk to us. If you are considering a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership or would simply like more information, call us on 0800 614 722 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our specialists.

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