As of 6 April 2022, the No Fault Divorce has come into effect.
A No Fault Divorce allows couples to leave their marriage without having to use one of the five facts to prove your marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’, you can simply make a declaration together saying that it has.
Can a couple jointly apply for a no fault divorce?
Yes. A couple can apply for a no fault divorce singly or jointly. Previously one spouse had to issue divorce proceedings against the other.
The new law doesn’t change that a solicitor can only act for one of you in any child or financial arrangements.
There might be the need to consider what would happen if one of you changes your mind due to a breakdown during discussions on child or financial arrangements.
How long does a no fault divorce take?
If everything therefore runs smoothly and there are no other issues, the minimum length of time to get a divorce now will be six months.
No Fault Divorce process.
- A couple apply for a divorce individually or together. This means they can choose to make a statement together explaining their marriage has irretrievably broken down. They don't need to explain why.
- A period of 20 weeks will apply as a ‘cooling off period’
- After 20 weeks and the couple are still looking to proceed, a Conditional Order is granted by the court. At this point you can now file a financial consent order with the court following the Condition Order being granted and (if you are having one) the financial order sealed (agreed) you can apply for your final divorce order
- A 6-week period
- After the 6 weeks is over a Final Order is made by the court.
- The minimum length of time to get a No Fault Divorce will be 6 months.
Can you contest a no fault divorce?
No, you cannot contest a no fault divorce. The reason for contesting a divorce is the mistaken belief that admitting fault will affect access to children and the fair division of financial assets.
Although a no fault divorce cannot be contested, the terms of the divorce can. For example, financial arrangements and arrangements for children. In this case terms may be agreed through mediation or, failing that, through the court.
What happens about the parenting arrangements and finances?
You will need to reach an agreement on how the arrangements for parenting and how the assets and finances are agreed whilst living separately, as these are separate parts of your divorce and are not covered under the no fault divorce law.
If you are having difficulty on coming to an agreement between yourselves, mediation is the next reasonable step as it is a pre-requisite for going to court for a decision in most cases.
How much does a no fault divorce cost?
A no fault divorce may be less costly than the current divorce process because it is less contentious. It is hoped that more amicable agreements can be reached more quickly so outcomes are less expensive.
Arrangements for children and matters relating to property and finances will still need to be agreed. The associated costs here will be the same as any type of divorce.
First Steps: read the information below regarding our fees and what they include. To help you decide whether you want to proceed, we can offer free initial assessment.
Our fees start from £750 +VAT
Court fee: £593
What work is covered?
Our fixed fee covers all the work required to conclude a non-contested Petition for Divorce. That includes a meeting with one of our advisors, the preparation of your Petition for Divorce and all other documents needed, correspondence with the Court and completion of all documents to obtain the Final order that finalises your divorce.
If your case becomes more complex, for example your ex-partner defends the proceedings or files a Cross-Petition, we will have to charge more for the extra work incurred. If that happens we will notify you as soon as practicable and before any additional costs are incurred. We will provide you with a revised estimate of our fees and detail the work that is likely to be needed to conclude your divorce.
In the event that your ex-partner fails to acknowledge receipt of your Divorce Petition upon being served with the Court papers, it is possible that you will incur a further cost by way of appointing an Enquiry Agent/Private Detective to serve a further copy of the papers by hand upon them. If such an event occurs, we will provide you with clear advice concerning our additional costs and the fees of the Enquiry Agent.
What work is not covered?
- Advice and proceedings concerning property, finances and children.
- The fee for obtaining a Marriage Certificate (currently £9.25)
- The cost of swearing your Affidavit in support of your Petition (between £7. and £9).
- An Enquiry Agent/Private Detective’s fees in the event your partner does not acknowledge service of your Divorce Petition.
- Any work that is necessary if your Petition for Divorce becomes defended or needs to be altered or amended once it has been issued by the Court.
In order to proceed, we will require your original marriage certificate, photographic identification (passport or driving licence) and a utility bill as proof of address. Call us on
0116 254 3345 to find out more.