Family and Matrimonial Law

The breakdown of a relationship can be a difficult and emotional time. We can take the pressure away from you by assisting with your Divorce.

The application process
You can apply for a divorce online.  There are two ways of applying for a divorce. A sole application, or a joint application.
Sole application
sole application is made by one party to the marriage. You or your solicitor should complete all of the application form. You will be the applicant. Your spouse will be the respondent.
The application form will ask you to confirm whether you intend to make a financial claim against your spouse. It is usually best to tick ‘yes’ to these boxes to keep your options open should you decide to apply for a financial order in the future. If you tick ‘yes’ this does not start a financial claim against your spouse. To start the financial claim you need to make a separate application.
Joint application
If you and your spouse agree that divorce is the right way forward, you can apply jointly to end your marriage. One of you will be applicant 1 and the other will be applicant 2. Both of you will need to complete the application form. Applicant 1 will complete most of the form. Other than that, it does not make any difference which of you is applicant 1 or 2.
What happens after I submit the application?
The court will allocate a case number to the application and start the process for the divorce. This is known as issue of proceedings.  It may take a while for the court to receive and issue your application.  
Sole application – letting the respondent know
The court will  notify the respondent about the application for divorce. This is known as service. Once the application for divorce has been issued, the court will send an email and a letter to the respondent notifying him/her that proceedings have been issued. 
Responding to an application for divorce
The respondent is required to send their acknowledgement of service to the court within fourteen days, starting on the day after they receive the divorce papers. This can be done online or by paper, using form D10. There are no time limits if the respondent is outside England and Wales. The acknowledgement of service form allows the respondent to state whether or not they agree with the contents of the divorce papers and whether they intend to dispute the divorce. The respondent cannot dispute the divorce on the basis that they do not agree that the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that they want to stay married.

Applying for a conditional order
Once service has been dealt with the next step is for the applicant, or applicants to apply for a conditional order. You must wait 20 weeks from the date of the application being issued before applying for the conditional order.  If you originally applied  for a divorce jointly but are now applying as a sole applicant,  you must send a copy of the D84 form to your spouse at the same time as submitting it to the court.
Applying for the final order
Once six weeks and one day has passed since the date of your conditional order, you can apply for your final order. If it has been over 12 months since the date of the conditional order then the court will require further information which will need to be included on the form.  If the applicant does not apply for the final order, the respondent can apply once 3 months have passed from the end of the initial six week period after which an application for a final order could have been made. 
How long will it take?
It can take just over 6 months from the inial application to the final order. However, the process is likely to take longer depending upon how long it takes for the court to process each stage of the divorce and how long it takes the parties to respond. 

It is only possible to ask for the time limits to be reduced in exceptional circumstances, for example, a party to the marriage is terminally ill and wishes to divorce before passing away.

It is often advisable to postpone applying for the final order until any financial proceedings have concluded as it can affect your rights to live in the family home, pensions, or other issues relating to joint finances. If your spouse is uncooperative or there are complications resolving the finances, the divorce could take much longer.

We can assist you with your divorce. Each case is handled compassionately as we understand that this may be a very distressing time in your life.