New Divorce Law

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From the 6th April 2022, the law changes to remove the “blame”/”fault” grounds for divorce and all divorces can proceed on the basis that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.  If your spouse applies for a divorce under the new law, you can no longer contest that application.

All divorces must be applied for online.  There will be no more paper applications allowed.

A couple who have decided their marriage has broken down irretrievably can now make a joint application for a divorce by completing the application together, or one partner can apply alone.

The Court fee for a divorce application is currently £593.00.  However, if a couple applies, they might both be eligible for help with that Court fee directly from the Court to obtain a reduction, or to have the fee waived altogether.  Sometimes, it might make more financial sense for you both to agree to the divorce but for one partner to deal with the paperwork.

We can advise you before you apply, what your options are and discuss your best way forward.

After the application for divorce has been made and the Court has issued the proceedings, then a “cooling off” period of no less than 20 weeks starts, before you can apply for a Conditional Order, then a further 6 weeks before you can obtain a Final Order, officially ending your marriage.

This 6-month period can be used wisely to reflect, do you really want a divorce?  Or, is there a way through your unhappiness?  Did one of you complete the application online in anger, or under the influence, and now regret that application and whatever was troubling one of you has since passed?  However, if the marriage has broken down irretrievably, then you can both take steps to use the 6-month period wisely to look at how to fairly divide the financial assets, balance up any income needs and look at whether any adjustments to pensions need to be made between you.  It is very important in most cases not to obtain your final Divorce Order until you have obtained a Final Order dealing with the distribution of the finances of the marriage.

We can guide you and advise you through that process.

During the 6 months, you can also look at ensuring that arrangements are made between you for the ongoing care of any children of the family.  We can also guide and advise you if you can’t work things out together regarding the care of the children.

We can also advise you as to the process and arrangements for finances and children, and occupation of the matrimonial home until matters are finalised.

It is vitally important to get independent legal advice at every stage of the divorce process.

If you need help, please contact our team to arrange a half-hour free appointment to discuss your options, whatever stage you are at.

We can still only advise one of you, due to solicitors’ rules regarding conflict of interest, but we guarantee that we will approach your case with sensitivity, kindness and in a non-confrontational manner and with a team of Family Law Legal 500 recognised experts and with a long-established firm behind us, who can meet all your legal needs under one roof.

Please contact our Carlisle office for enquiries Cumbria wide.  With specialists in the north and south of the county, we have Cumbria and beyond covered for your needs.

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