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Going through a divorce or separation can be one of the most stressful and emotional times in your life. The process can be overwhelming when you don’t understand how it works or what it means.

The divorce process does not need to be complicated, especially with Eatons’ array of services available to support you through the journey. Here at Eatons , our experts can guide you through the process, answer all of your questions and provide helpful advice along the way.

Understanding the Terminology

The divorce process is full of words and phrases that you may be unfamiliar with. The new changes to the law have also impacted the terminology, so it is useful to familiarise yourself with them.

Here are the most common:

  • The Applicant (Previously the Petitioner) – The person who is starting the divorce
  • The Respondent (Remains the same) – The person responding to the divorce brought by their spouse
  • Conditional Order (Previously Decree Nisi) – The certificate that the court will send you after 20 weeks from issuing the divorce application
  • Final Order (Previously Decree Absolute) – The certificate the court will send you when the divorce is finalised

How to Start Divorce Proceedings

To begin a divorce, an application must be submitted to the court. This can be done on paper or online and has a fee of £593. Help with fees is available for help with costs for those on low income.

Once the application is sent, there is a 20-week period before you can apply for a conditional order. The respondent must acknowledge that they have received a copy of the application within 14 days. We recommend speaking to your ex-partner in advance to ensure they are aware you are applying for a divorce.

There is then a further 6 weeks and one day to wait before applying for a final divorce order. Once this is granted by the court, the divorce is official and final.

What Grounds Are There for Divorce?

Under the new law, a no-fault divorce was introduced meaning that to successfully apply for a divorce, all that must be proven is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. There is no longer a need to place blame.

You are only eligible for a divorce if you have been married for more than a year, and that the marriage is legally recognised by the government’s jurisdiction.

What Documents Do I Need?

An original marriage certificate, or a certified copy must be provided. If the certificate is in another language, a translated copy must also be submitted.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in the UK?

The minimum length of time in which a divorce can be sanctioned is 26 weeks - from the divorce application being issued to the final divorce order.

The process may take longer if parties cannot come to agreements on important things such as finances and childcare. Experienced divorce lawyers can help to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly and as quickly as possible.

How Can We Help?

Our team of family lawyers can help support and advise you through the entire divorce process. We have a team available all across West Yorkshire who are happy to help. If you would like to know more, get in touch today!