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It takes a minimum of 26 weeks from the date an applicant issues their divorce to the final step in the divorce process. However, this can take longer if there are financial assets that need to be discussed and agreed upon.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, came into force on 6th April 2022 and it marked a fundamental change in the process for divorce.
Once an application for a divorce has been submitted online. The applicant cannot apply for conditional order until 20 weeks have passed. Once the conditional order has been granted by the court, the applicant will then have to wait a further six weeks and one day before applying for the final order in their divorce.
The reasons behind the 20 week period is to allow the parties time for reflection and time to discuss the financial matters with the aim to reaching a fair agreement.
On the flip side there may be occasions where the time frame could be prejudicial in some cases and this will need to be considered with your solicitor.
Parties now no longer need to rely upon ‘fault based’ reasons for a divorce, such as unreasonable behaviour, adultery or desertion. This also includes waiting for a length of period such as two or five years separation.
Under the new divorce process the only ground that would need to be satisfied is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The other party cannot defend the divorce either under the new process except in relation to legality or jurisdiction.
This fundamental change was campaigned for, for many years and is aimed at reducing animosity and conflict between the parties. This will further assist the parties in reaching an amicable financial settlement and further assist in arrangements for the children.
At Sousa Law, we strive to reduce the conflict and work with the other party/Solicitor to reach a fair outcome for the parties involved and their children. We see the benefits of using alternative dispute resolutions (such as Mediation, Collaborative Law, Arbitration and Round table meetings) to meet this objective and only using court proceedings as a last resort where necessary.
If you would like more information regarding the new ‘No Fault’ divorce and/or advice regarding financial settlements as part of your divorce please contact us via email at email@example.com or 02380 713 060.
By Kim Walsh
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