An enormous change in divorce law in the UK took place on April the 6th 2022 relating to the ability to divorce your partner with a no-fault divorce. The largest change to the process itself was that of the introduction of a joint application.

In short, this means that instead of one of the members of the marriage applying for divorce, you and your former spouse are now both able to. The same ruling applies to civil partnerships and dissolution, making the entire process more straightforward.

At Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge are happy to be able to implement these changes, as it means fewer complications with the divorce process and more money in our clients’ pockets! If you are looking to undertake a no-fault divorce in the UK, feel free to contact our dedicated team today!

But what does a joint application look like in practice? And how does a no-fault divorce differ from a regular divorce? Our divorce solicitors in Weybridge explain below.

Completing the application

In years gone by, to apply for a divorce, one of the members of the couple would need to apply by themselves. However, if you are applying for a no-fault divorce, both you and your former partner can complete the application together. According to our divorce solicitors in Weybridge, the form is simple and can be completed online if it is more convenient for you both. You will then need to upload a copy of your marriage certificate and the application is then decided by a court.

20 weeks later

Much like a regular divorce, there are some timelines and cooling-off periods. In the case of no-fault divorce, from the initial application being sent off and you and your former spouse being able to apply for a conditional order, this period is 20 weeks.

It’s worth considering that with a conditional order, one of you can apply for it, which may be needed if your former spouse has become very ill, or if they are no longer cooperating with the proceedings.

Joint application alone?

As you can see, there are a few instances in which you may need to complete the process yourself, but this can be problematic.

If a joint application is then undertaken by just one person, you cannot switch the proceedings back to a joint application at a later date. This does not mean that the new ‘respondent‘ is now able to oppose the divorce, and it won’t change any timelines. But it does mean that as the new ‘applicant,’ all of the responsibility falls on you alone.

Final order

After the conditional order is reviewed by a judge, you and your former spouse will need to wait 6 weeks for the final order to be issued. The final order is a legal acknowledgement of the end of the marriage or the dissolution of the civil partnership.

So, all in all, a no-fault divorce takes around the same length of time as a regular one, just with fewer delays! If this sounds like something you want to undertake, call our team at Prentice Family Law today.