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Divorce Solicitors

Our highly knowledgeable and friendly divorce solicitors can assist and support couples who are looking to begin divorce proceedings. Divorce formally brings a marriage to an end, leaving both spouses free to re-marry or enter into a civil partnership if they wish.

We understand that the breakdown of a relationship can be one of the most emotional events in a person’s life and so our team of understanding and experienced matrimonial solicitors will be on hand throughout the process.

Our matrimonial solicitors are accredited by either the Law Society and or Resolution as providers of specialist advice and guidance that best suits each couples’ individual needs.

The Stages of Divorce

There are several stages of a divorce. This can differ depending on whether you are making a sole or joint application. Please note, this does not deal with financial or child arrangements, these are dealt with separately.

Sole Application

  1. One person completes and submits the divorce application and are known as ‘the Applicant’. The other person is ‘the Respondent’.
  2. Once the application has been issued, a 20 week ‘reflection period’ begins. A copy of the application will also be sent to the Respondent and asked to complete and return an Acknowledgement of Service (AOS) to the court within 14 days.
  3. Once the reflection period ends, the applicant will apply to the court for the conditional order.
  4. The court reviews this application and if everything is in order, will fix a date for the conditional order to be pronounced.
  5. Six weeks and one day after the date of the conditional order, the applicant can then apply to make the divorce final. They will then obtain a Final order. However, it is usual to delay applying for this until the terms of the financial settlement have been resolved.

Joint Application

  1. The first person, known as ‘Applicant 1’ begins the divorce application. They then send this to ‘Applicant 2’ who will complete their details. Applicant 1 then submits this to the court. Joint applicants can decide between them how they would like to split the court fee for the application.
  2. Once the application has been issued, a 20 week ‘reflection period’ begins.
  3. Once the reflection period ends, Applicant 1 and Applicant 2 can jointly apply to make the divorce final by obtaining a final order. However, it is usual to delay applying for this until the terms of the financial settlement have been resolved.

What Is a Clean Break Clause?

A clean break clause prevents any future financial claims from your former spouse. This means that they cannot claim further money or assets from you. To obtain a clean break order, the court needs to be able to deal with the financial issues of the divorce which can only occurs after the conditional order .

Can We Get the Marriage Annulled?

Annulment is another way of ending a marriage. This is usually the choice for those who do not want a divorce due to religious reasons. However, you can only get an annulment if you can prove that the marriage was not valid in the first place. If this is the case, the law says that it never existed.

You can also get an annulment if the marriage is defective. This can be because:

  • You are closely related
  • One of the parties was under 16
  • One of the parties was already married or in a civil partnership

If your marriage is defective, you can annul for a number of reasons. These include:

  • You did not provide sufficient consent, for example, you were drunk or forced into the marriage
  • The marriage was not consummated. This means you have not had sex with the person you married since the wedding. This does not apply to same sex couples.
  • The other party has a sexually transmitted disease when you got married.
  • The woman was pregnant by another man when you got married.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

As of 6 April 2022, the new law on No Fault divorce has brought long awaited changes allowing couples to divorce without having to rely on proving one of five acceptable reasons for the grounds of divorce.

The new law encourages a more constructive approach to separation. The reform enables couples and their lawyers to centre their efforts on ‘uncoupling’, instead of allocating blame; creating a positive change in family law on a mutual decision and, when children are involved with the process.

What Happens if I Do Not Agree to the Divorce?

A no fault divorce cannot be contested. There are very limited circumstances where the court may choose to investigate further, such as the marriage was not legal.

Do Both Parties Need To Agree on a No Fault Divorce?

It is not necessary for both parties to agree on a no-fault divorce as the ability to contest a divorce has been removed. An individual can still make a sole application.

How Can Our Matrimonial Solicitors Help You?

As members of Resolution, our solicitors are committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational and constructive way. This means our members are highly experienced in dealing with divorce disputes and advising on the best course of actions for yourselves both financially and emotionally.

Divorce, dissolution, and separation is an extremely upsetting and distressing time and can be a very complicated process. Here at Spire Solicitors LLP we have a dedicated specialist team, who are able to provide you with support and advice. We offer and initial fixed fee interview to provide you with some initial advice and outline the options available to you and the costs involved in the process.

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