If you have sadly concluded that your marriage is at an end, you may well be ready to consider beginning an application for a divorce. Midwinters Partner, Lucy Webley (lucy.webley@midwinters.co.uk), explains more:

The divorce process changed dramatically in April 2022. You no longer have to prove to the court that your spouse has had an affair; behaved so badly that you can’t reasonably be expected to live with them; or have been separated for a period of time. It is only necessary to state that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.

The application is a relatively straightforward process and the whole thing can be dealt with online, or by post if you decide to deal with it yourself. You and your spouse can even make a joint application and it is no longer necessary to give details as to the reasons for your separation.

There is a court fee to pay whether you instruct a solicitor or deal with the application yourself. If your income is limited, you may not have to pay it all. Once the application is made, your spouse will be notified and there follows a 20-week period before the next stage which is an application for a conditional order (the last but one stage in the process formerly known as decree nisi). During that time, it is hoped that negotiations can take place to agree financial arrangements if appropriate.

Once the conditional order has been made, a minimum of 6 weeks and day must pass before the application for a final order (formerly known as decree absolute), can be made. However this doesn’t need to be done straight away and often can wait until a financial settlement has been agreed. The final order once made by the court, signals the legal end of your marriage leaving you free to remarry if you wish.

Finally, just because your marriage has legally ended, this does not automatically tie up your financial dealings with each other. It is therefore extremely important to seek early legal advice about financial matters to ensure you fully understand your options. There is a further article available ‘How do I sort out my finances on divorce’.

What do I do next?

  • Click on link on the Family page of our website to find out more, or
  • Call Midwinters on 01242 514674 to arrange your free initial appointment.