Divorce & Separation
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into force on the 6th April 2022 and marks a significant change to how couples will divorce in England and Wales. Couples are no longer required to cite blame for the reason why their marriage has broken down. Instead, the only reason for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Either party can apply for divorce or both parties can do so jointly without having to apportion blame.
The divorce petition cannot be contested save for in exceptional circumstances such as a challenge to whether a marriage was valid or for jurisdictional reasons.
It now takes a minimum of 26 weeks to dissolve a marriage starting from the application for a Divorce to the granting of the Final Order (formerly Decree Absolute). The period between the application for the divorce and the grant of a Conditional Order (formerly a Decree Nisi Order) is a minimum of 20 weeks. There will then be a further six weeks between the Conditional Order and the Final Order
The first 20 weeks is to give couples time to think about whether they really want to end their marriage before they take that final step to dissolve their marriage once and for all.
26 weeks is the minimum time it will take to divorce. It could take longer depending on how quickly the application is acknowledged and the speed at which the paperwork can be processed by the Court. If there are finances involved, you may be advised to delay the application for the Final Order until a financial settlement is agreed or ordered.
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