Q: My husband and I have lived separate lives for the past few months but have stayed in the same house for financial reasons whilst we fulfil the two years’ separation with consent reason for getting a divorce. However, the new no-fault divorce appears to change the need for us to wait two years, and since I am now in a new relationship with someone who is going abroad to work, I would like to conclude matters as soon as possible so that I can go with him. How long does it take for a no-fault divorce to come through?
A: The whole process of obtaining a no-fault divorce can take as little as 26 weeks from start to finish. The process begins with you filing a statement of irretrievable breakdown which your husband must formerly acknowledge within 14 days and confirm whether he agrees to the divorce or objects to it. If he agrees to the divorce you can apply for a Conditional Order (previously known as the Decree Nisi) after 20 weeks. This 20-week period enables you both to reflect on your decision and be certain that you still wish to go ahead with the divorce. You can apply for your Final Order (previously named Decree Absolute) six weeks after getting your Conditional Order.
With that said, couples going down the route of this new, faster no-fault divorce should not get carried away by the concept of ‘speed’! It is essential that agreement is also reached, at the same time, on finances, matrimonial assets and childcare arrangements, as to address these issues later could result in one or other losing out on financial entitlements. And when it comes to these arrangements, the safest option always is to seek advice and help from a divorce solicitor.
This question has been answered by Alison Peters, a Partner with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194