Divorce and Separation Solicitors
We find the best way forward for your divorce or separation
On April 6th, 2022, divorce legislation was reformed with the introduction of no-fault divorce law. The new law permits divorcing couples to file for divorce without needing to provide a reason. Our divorce and separation solicitors at Longmores are here to offer expert advice and assistance at every stage of the divorce process.
Under the previous divorce law, the spouse applying for the divorce was required to provide one of five reasons for the breakdown of the marriage; these reasons could include unreasonable behaviour, adultery, separation, or desertion.
Before April 6th, only one spouse was permitted to start the divorce proceedings. Unless the spouse applying for the divorce was able to rely on either two years separation, with their partner’s consent, or five years separation without consent, they had to essentially blame their partner for the breakdown of the marriage. No-fault divorce removes the requirement to point blame and a couple can now pursue a joint divorce application together if they wish.
If one spouse wants a divorce, the other partner no longer has the option to defend the divorce. Only in very limited circumstances may there be the opportunity to defend a divorce, for example if the marriage is not legally valid or the court does not have the appropriate jurisdiction to issue the proceedings.
No-fault divorce law was introduced to provide a more straightforward divorce process, potentially minimising legal proceedings and reducing the conflict that arises when couples are prompted to allocate blame.
Our divorce and separation solicitors can provide expert legal assistance, including:
- Applying for a divorce
- Child related disputes
- Financial matters
Contact our divorce solicitors in Hertford
If you’re seeking a no-fault divorce, or you would like divorce-related legal advice, contact our divorce solicitors. You can call us on 01992 300333 or complete our enquiry form, and a member of our legal team will be in touch.
- Tracey Dargan
- Partner and Head of Divorce and Family Law
- Kerrie Hall
- Senior Solicitor specialising in Family Law
- Jessica Few
- Solicitor specialising in Family Law
Our divorce expertise
Legal advice on no-fault divorce
Deciding that you want to get a divorce is a huge decision. It’s perfectly normal to have questions about the legal implications and processes, whether these concerns relate to your finances or childcare arrangements. Our expert divorce solicitors can advise and assist your through the divorce process and provide specialist advice in relation to your finances and arrangements for your children.
Longmores Solicitors appreciate that even the most amicable divorces can be emotionally strenuous, which is why we offer empathetic and impartial legal assistance to all of our clients.
Filing an individual or joint divorce application
Our team have the expertise to guide you through the no-fault divorce procedures with as little friction as possible. Longmores Solicitors can assist you through every step, including:
- Submitting an application to the court.
- Within 28 days, the court should begin working on your divorce by issuing the application and serving a copy on your former partner, known as the respondent; starting the process triggers a reflection period of twenty weeks.
- Your spouse has 14 days to file their response, known as the “Acknowledgement of Service”.
- Once the twenty-week reflection period has passed, our divorce solicitors can support you in applying for a Conditional Order.
- Once the court has granted a Conditional Order, there is another compulsory waiting period of 6 weeks.
- After the 6-week wait, our divorce and separation solicitors can support you in applying for the Final Order to dissolve your marriage.
Childcare arrangements procedures
Childcare arrangements are not included as part of no-fault divorce proceedings. If a couple cannot agree the living arrangements for their children, then they would need to make an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order, albeit as a last resort. A Child Arrangements Order decides where your children live, when your children spend time with the other parent and what other types of contact will take place.
Longmores Solicitors can assist you in attempting to agree the arrangements for your children and avoid having to involve the court. Should you need to go to court, we can help you to prepare, and represent your case, to ensure the best outcome. To learn more about childcare arrangement orders, contact our divorce solicitors.
Reaching a financial settlement
When you’re applying for a no-fault divorce, you’ll need to make separate legal arrangements, to reach a financial settlement. Dividing your finances in a divorce can feel overwhelming, especially when there’s some degree of conflict involved.
Our divorce lawyers can help you to negotiate a financial settlement with your spouse, helping you to protect your interests and legal rights.
If you and your spouse can agree on the financial arrangements, we can support you in obtaining a Financial Consent Order from the court to confirm the terms of settlement. If you cannot agree, we can assist you in resolving matters whether that is through mediation, arbitration, the court or otherwise.
Everything you need to know about no-fault divorce
Do you need a solicitor to get a no-fault divorce?
It is possible to apply for a no-fault divorce without a solicitor, however, without legal support, you may face complications and legal risks. Getting divorced can affect your pension, taxes and legal status, which is why it is not advised to proceed without legal advice. Our expert divorce solicitors can offer the legal support you need, throughout various stages of the process, including:
- Legal representation in divorce proceedings.
- Legal advice and assistance in dealing with the financial aspects of your divorce and obtaining a final Financial Order, by agreement or determination through arbitration or the court.
- Legal advice and assistance in dealing with the arrangements for your children, by negotiation, determination, arbitration, or court proceedings.
Are no-fault divorces a good option for everyone?
No-fault divorce provides couples with access to a streamlined divorce process, potentially reducing conflict. For many people, removing the need to assert blame will help divorcing couples experience a less stressful divorce process.
No-fault divorce has been introduced to make the divorce process more straightforward for couples, however, it is still crucial to carefully consider your decision. If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s essential that you first seek divorce advice from a solicitor.
How much does it cost to get a no-fault divorce?
Filing for a divorce incurs a court fee that is currently set at £593. Our divorce solicitors charge a fixed fee for acting on your behalf in relation to your application for a divorce, from issue through to Final Order.
For more information about our fees, contact Longmore Solicitors.
Why has the divorce law changed?
The previous divorce legislation was long criticised for encouraging conflict between divorcing couples, subjecting both parties and their children to emotional strain. The hope is that no-fault divorce law will lessen the chance of conflict and provide couples with an easier way to obtain a divorce.
What are the key changes under the new no-fault divorce law?
Under the new no-fault divorce law, there have been several key changes, including:
- Couples now have the option to apply for a joint divorce.
- Neither party needs to provide a reason for the irretrievably break down of the marriage.
- There is no longer an option to defend a divorce (besides under limited circumstances).
- Introduction of a twenty-week period of reflection.
- The Decree Nisi has been replaced with the Conditional Order.
- The Decree Absolute has been replaced with the Final Order.
- The spouse who files for divorce is named the applicant instead of the petitioner.
Contact our divorce and separation solicitors in Hertford today
If you are considering getting a divorce and require legal support, contact our divorce solicitors today. You can call us on 01992 300333 or complete our enquiry form, and a member of our legal team will be in touch.