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Articles Family Law 6th Dec 2023

“The First Noel”: Getting a no-fault divorce before next Christmas. The family law 12 days of Christmas – day 4

As we turn our calendars to December, and we can finally start getting into the Christmas spirit, our family law solicitors Alex Haworth and Gemma Nicholls-Webber share several of their favourite family law topics with a festive twist.

Over the first 12 working days of December, they’ll be giving their family law version of the 12 songs of Christmas, where they’ll cover a wide range of questions or issues that often arise when dealing with family law matters…


“The First Noel”: Getting a no-fault divorce before next Christmas

In the UK, we now operate on the basis of a no-fault divorce process. This has made the procedure much simpler and we are finding that many of our clients are able to manage the application process themselves, with a little input from us. However, we appreciate that for some, dealing with an unfamiliar process on top of coming to terms with the breakdown of a marriage can be very stressful, so we are happy to manage the divorce process on your behalf if you feel that this would be beneficial to you.

With that being said, the timing of the divorce remains lengthy. A step-by-step guide is set out below;

  • The application for divorce can be made on a sole or joint application. The Court fee is £593. Some applicants may be eligible for help with this court fee.
  • In a sole application, the respondent will receive a copy of the application from the Court. They will be asked to acknowledge the application within 14 days of receipt.
  • The applicant will be informed once the respondent has acknowledged the application.
  • The applicant must wait 20 weeks from the date of their application, to apply for the Conditional Order on divorce. At this stage the Court will consider your application and confirm that they see no reason why you cannot divorce. This review process takes several weeks. The Court will then set a date for the Conditional Order to be pronounced, and a copy of the Conditional Order will be sent to both parties following this date.
  • The applicant must wait a further 6 weeks and 1 day from the pronouncement of the Conditional Order to apply for the Final Order. The Final Order ends the marriage. It is important that you discuss whether to apply for the Final Order with your solicitor before doing so as the Final Order can affect a number of your rights as a spouse.

Whilst the process is much more straight forward, it still takes a considerable amount of time to obtain a divorce. If you wish to proceed with a divorce, please do get in touch, and we can advise and assist. The sooner the application is made, the better chance you have of the process being finalised by next Christmas!


If you or anyone you know would appreciate advice on no-fault divorce or any of the other topics we have covered in our 12 songs of Christmas, please contact Alex Haworth or Gemma Nicholls-Webber.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
Gemma Nicholls-Webber

Author: Gemma Nicholls-Webber

Managing Associate

Author: Alexandra Haworth

Senior Associate

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