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Divorce & Dissolution of Civil Partnership


There is only one ground of divorce which is ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage.’ Due to the new law introduced in April 2022 it no longer needs to be proved that either of the parties were at ‘fault’ for the marital breakdown.

To initiate divorce/dissolution proceedings, you must have been married for at least one year. It does not matter where in the world you were married, but you can only apply for a divorce in England and Wales if either you or your spouse meet certain residence conditions or live in the UK.

Here is a brief outline of the process:

  1. Submit application/divorce petition, this can be completed online or by using Form D8 and paying the court fee of £593 (if you are on a low income you could get help with your fees). This can now be done with a sole application or a joint application this is preferred by the parties.

  2. Service of divorce papers on the other party where there is a sole application.

  3. Other party invited to respond but can only object to the divorce if there is a legal reason to do so.

  4. After 20 weeks the Conditional Order can be applied for online or by using Form D84, this means the court agrees you can have a divorce, but it is not finalised.

  5. After a minimum of 6 weeks and 1 day apply for the Final Order online or by using Form D36 or D36A in certain circumstances (this part should be delayed if there are financial proceedings).

  6. Final Order granted.

The time limit can be anything from a minimum of 6 months onwards depending on child or financial issues. It’s important to remember that child arrangements and financial arrangements have separate procedures however you should indicate in your application if you will be applying for financial relief. If you have been married for less than one year you can apply for your marriage to be annulled under certain circumstances.  

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