The new law which is introduced today will allow parties to divorce without blaming each other in a divorce application. A couple will no longer be able to divorce using adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation with consent, 2 years desertion or 5 years separation.
The changes also brings new changes to the terminology. The petitioner (person bringing the divorce) is now called the applicant. The respondent remains the same. Decree Nisi is now named a Conditional Order and Decree Absolute is now named a Final Order.
Moving forward a divorcing couple will be able to provide a joint statement to the Court setting out their reasons as to why the marriage has irretrievably broken down. A statement will need to be provided by both of the parties to the divorce application confirming their agreement to the same which they will both need to sign and date.
It is also possible to submit a sole application. Either a sole applicant or both applicants together can apply to dissolve the marriage providing a statement is provided by the sole or joint applicants stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with an explanation.
The Court will make an order provided that the proper application has been issued and a cooling off period will now take place. This means that the parties will have to wait 20 weeks from the start of the divorce proceedings before they can apply for a Conditional Order (Decree Nisi). This will provide the parties time to reflect on their decision to ensure this is exactly what they want before the divorce is granted. If the parties still wish to proceed with the Divorce a Conditional Order (Decree Nisi) will be granted.
Once granted there will then be a minimum 6-week period between the Conditional Order (Decree Nisi) and being able to apply for a Final Order (Decree Absolute).
This is the same as the previous divorce rules. Once this period has expired, the parties will be able to apply for a Final Divorce Order. This will mean that Decree Absolute is granted. Until such time as the Final Divorce Order (Decree Absolute) is granted then the parties will remain married.
Based on the above timescale, we envisage that it will take at least 6 months to complete a no fault divorce process. This is similar to the previous timeframe.
The Court fee of £593 remains the same for all new Divorces.
If you do require any assistance in relation to issuing Divorce proceedings please contact our family team. Please note that we do offer 30 min free initial advice appointments.
Tel – 01942 206060